Ben Affleck altered a postscript at the ending 'Argo' to reframe the role of Charles Taylor, the former Canadian ambassador to Iran, in the escape of six American diplomats in 1979
Ben Affleck has changed a postscript at the end of his new thriller, "Argo," since its screening last week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The change was made to appease Ken Taylor, Canada's former ambassador to Iran, who plays a key role in crisis depicted in the Affleck-directed movie, a Warner Bros. spokeswoman told TheWrap.
The film was seen by associates of Taylor as falsely giving credit for the release of the hostages to a CIA agent and also suggesting that Canada and Taylor wrongly took credit.
The results: a postscript line onscreen at the end of the movie has been removed and replaced.
The new postscript reads: “The involvement of the CIA complemented efforts of the Canadian embassy to free the six held in Tehran. To this day the story stands as an enduring model of international co-operation between governments.”
“Argo” is about how six U.S. diplomats escaped from Iran, after extremists seized control of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979. The six were sheltered at the Canadian embassy until they made their escape in January 1980.
In the film, Affleck plays a CIA agent who is depicted as the hero responsible for facilitating the escape of the six Americans, when in reality it was the ambassador who enabled their escape.
In Canada, Taylor has long been seen as a hero. He sheltered a half-dozen American diplomats at the Canadian embassy in Iran and then helped them leave the country using fake passports. The six were among 63 people held hostage after extremists seized control of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the capital, in 1979.
Affleck recently flew Taylor and his wife to Los Angeles where they were shown the film for the first time on the Warner Bros. lot, according to the Toronto Star, which first reported on the changes to the postscript. Commentary was also recorded from the Taylors, which will appear as a special feature on the DVD in 2013.
“I expressed my concern with certain details in the movie,” Taylor told the Star. “In reality, Canada was responsible for the six and the CIA was a junior partner. But I realize this is a movie and you have to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Ben was very gracious and we got along really well. There are a few points I want to address. Now Ben and I both feel free to talk about them.”