‘Dividing the World…Creates Fear’: Iranian Oscar-Winning Director Boycotts Ceremony, Bashes Trump Ban

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The Salesman was honored with the award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday night at the Academy Awards. But the film’s Iranian director, Asghar Farhadi, boycotted the ceremony in protest of President Donald Trump‘s proposed travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries.

He was represented by Iranian-American Anousheh Ansari, an engineer who became the first-ever female space tourist in 2006. Ansari read a speech from Farhadi.

“I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight,” Ansari said on behalf of Farhadi. “My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.”

The line drew applause from the audience. Ansari continued.

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. 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. An empathy which we need today more than ever.

Watch above, via ABC.

[featured image via screengrab]

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo