Now that’s what you call making a statement.
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi — absent from Sunday’s Academy Awards — slammed President Trump’s “inhumane” travel ban during an acceptance-speech statement delivered by engineer Anousheh Ansari.
“I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.,” said “The Salesman” director.
“Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression.”
Farhadi, taking home his second win for best foreign language film, also paid tribute to the unifying power of his craft.
“Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others,” he said. “An empathy which we need today more than ever.”
Dr. Firouz Naderi, a director of NASA’s Solar System Exploration program who accepted the award alongside Ansari, said backstage that Farhadi specifically chose the two of them for their connections to space science.
“I think the reason is, if you go away from the earth and look back at the earth, you don’t see any of the borders, any of the lines. You just see one whole beautiful earth. I think the reason he selected the two of us was to convey that message,” Naderi said.
“When you want to stand on your principles, you have to make hard choices, and he just made one,” he said.
Ansari, the first Iranian in space and first self-funded woman to visit the International Space Station, called Farhadi’s decision to sit out the ceremony “difficult.”
“I think he wanted to spend (this night) in solidarity with the rest of the people who have been subject of the travel ban and are not able to see their friends and their family members and share the important moments in their lives,” she said backstage.
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif applauded Farhadi’s move, tweeting, “Proud of cast & crew of ‘The Salesman’ for Oscar & stance against #MuslimBan. Iranians have represented culture & civilization for millennia.”
Conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren, meanwhile, told Farhadi to “feel free to stay in Iran.”
“I hear it’s nice there,” tweeted “The Blaze” personality. “Good terror training grounds.”
Trump’s temporary travel ban on seven majority-Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — was stayed earlier this month by a federal appeals court. The President has said a new immigration-related executive action is forthcoming.
Farhadi also spoke out against the travel ban in late January, declaring that he wouldn’t attend the Oscars even if he received an exemption.
“I neither had the intention to not attend nor did I want to boycott the event as a show of objection,” he said in a statement to the New York Times. “It now seems that the possibility of this 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.”
Asghar Farhadi blasts President Trump’s ‘inhumane’ travel ban in statement delivered during Oscars win – New York Daily News