FASSA SAR WRITES – Hollywood Award Season jitters are not the only thing that some international nominees are worrying about.
On Friday, January 29th, President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order to stop all refugee arrivals for four months – and Syrian arrivals indefinitely and visa holder arrivals for 90 days.
Trump’s executive order states that Muslims traveling to the US from parts of the Middle East and north Africa including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen will not be allowed. Trump stated that his executive order was a means for “extreme vetting” geared towards “keeping terrorists out,” a much more severe executive order than expected.
Unfortunately, it was a stark reality to Academy Award nominations such as Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who wrote and directed the 2017 Oscar-nominated foreign language film “The Salesman.” Fahardi would not be able to enter the U.S. for the awards under President Donald Trump’s recently-enacted travel ban. The Iranian director said Sunday that, while he had originally considered attending, “the possibility of [his] presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts, which are in no way acceptable to me, even if exceptions were to be made for my trip”. Farhadi continues:
“To humiliate one nation with the pretext of guarding the security of another is not a new phenomenon in history and has always laid the groundwork for the creation of future divide and enmity… I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations.”
Iranian star of “The Salesman” Taraneh Alidoosti announced that she would not attend the awards as a boycott. “Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist,” she wrote on Twitter on January 29th.
The rest of Hollywood wasted no time in saying how they felt about the Muslim ban on social media as well as on the Screen Actors Guild Award on Sunday, January 29. Actors including Ashton Kutcher, Kerry Washington, Julia Louis Dreyfus responded to this egregious executive order, slamming it as ‘Un-American”. With a long history of immigration to Hollywood, the industry continues to stand up for the storytellers of America and abroad. According to the American Film Institute any sense of restriction, including travel, is censoring the voices of creators.