You didn't think the Oscars could escape any controversy this year, did you? Last year, there were quite a few black artists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who banned the show for its lack of African-American nominees, spawning the infamous #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. Now, it seems the controversy this year is swirling around Donald Trump and Muslims.
So far, the Academy has been able to avoid another whitewash controversy with a number of films nominated featuring people of color, including the actors of those projects themselves. And the first black female editor was nominated this year. But our newly inaugurated President Donald Trump is kicking up a whole new controversy.
Donald Trump has planned a four-month ban on Muslims entering the U.S. With the Academy Awards telecast happening this February, that means Oscar-nominated director Asghar Farhadi will likely not be able to attend the ceremony.
Farhadi's movie The Salesman is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Way back in 2012, he won the Best Screenplay Oscar for his movie A Separation, which not only makes him an eligible winner this year but also someone who could potentially present at the show. A number of sources, including Vanity Fair, have confirmed that Trump's ban will keep Farhadi out of the country. The ban bars nationals from 7 different Middle Eastern countries.
Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in the movie, has publicly stated that she will be boycotting this year's Oscars, calling the executive order racist. And she is calling for others to boycott as well. This isn't the first time immigration problems have plagued an Oscar nominated movie either. Lion star Sunny Pawar was initially denied the visa he needed in order to attend the premier. This caused Weinstein Company to send a direct appeal to Homeland Security to retrieve him.
At the time Sunny Pawar was denied entry into the United States, immigration paranoia was cited as the reason. Donald Trump's new ban is being called more of a 'concrete barrier'. And will be very difficult for Asghar Farhadi to fight for his rightful place in the Academy Award audience when the show broadcasts live on ABC February 26.
The Salesman follows a high school teacher (Shahab Hosseini) who seeks revenge against the perpetrator who attacked his wife (Taraneh Alidoosti) in their apartment. It is being released this weekend in limited release.