Academy Award-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has been barred from attending the 2017 awards ceremony due to President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Farhadi, whose movie The Salesman is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, cannot enter the U.S. for this year’s Oscars ceremony on February 26, which falls within the 90-day ban for travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The controversial order also suspended the entry of refugees to the U.S. for 120 days.
The Tribeca Film Festival slammed the filmmaker’s blockage on Twitter on Saturday, January 28, writing, “Oscar nominee Asghar Farhadi has been banned from entry into the U.S. to attend the ceremony in Feb. This is heartbreaking and unacceptable.”
Taraneh Alidoosti, an Iranian actress in The Salesman, announced earlier in the week that she would not attend the Oscars this year as a boycott against Trump, 70. “Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist,” she wrote on Twitter. “Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest.”
Farhadi, 44, won his first Oscar in 2012 when his film A Separation received the award for Best Foreign Language Film, marking the first time an Iranian won an Academy Award. During his acceptance speech, Farhadi thanked “the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”
In response to Trump’s travel ban, Iran announced on Saturday that it will ban all U.S. citizens from entering the country. In a statement to CNN, the Iranian Foreign Ministry called Trump’s executive order “an obvious insult to the Islamic world and in particular to the great nation of Iran.”
The real estate mogul’s order also caused an uproar on Friday, January 27, when two Iraqis were detained at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The men were both legally allowed to enter the U.S., according to court documents obtained by CNN, but were held as a result of Trump’s ban. Both men, one of whom worked for the U.S. military during the Iraq War, have since filed a lawsuit against Trump.