Oscar-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi might not be allowed to enter the U.S. to attend next month’s Academy Awards, according to a representative of the National Iranian American Council.
In a tweet sent late Friday, Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council said he “confirmed” that the filmmaker “won’t be let into the US to attend Oscar’s” due to President Donald Trump’s executive order, signed Friday, calling for a 90-day ban on the admission of any citizen of Iran or six other Muslim-majority countries even if they have valid visas.
The filmmaker, whose film “The Salesman” is a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, may be the most prominent person affected by Trump’s executive order, which also bars refugees from those seven countries for 120 days. The president said he intended to screen out “radical Islamic terrorists” and give priority for admission to Christian minorities, according to the Washington Post.
Trump’s executive order does allow for exceptions, noting that “the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”
According to a tweet early Saturday from Hada Nili, a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for BBC Persian, Farhadi’s office said there was no “legal obstacle” to him attending the February 26 Oscar ceremony — but that he was still weighing a decision on whether to go.
American reps handling “The Salesman” declined to comment.
On Thursday, “The Salesman” lead actress announced she was boycotting the Oscar ceremony because of Trump’s then-proposed ban.
Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist,” she wrote. “Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the 2017 in protest.”
Iranian-American actor Shawn Toub (“Homeland,” “Crash”) told TheWrap that such an outcome would be a shame: “As an artist, and as an Iranian-American, it would be a shame for Asghar Farhadi and the actors not to be able to attend, and make a statement and enjoy the Oscars. It’s a big honor. I would hate for them to miss the opportunity to be honored.”
Parsi has been writing about other Iranian Americans detained by U.S. border patrol agents since President Trump announced his ban Friday on immigrants and visitors from Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries.
The move has drawn outcry from many quarters in part because none of the countries that produced 9/11 hijackers — Saudia Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt and United Arab Emirates — were included in the travel and immigration ban, according to CNN reporter Jim Sciutto.