The New York Times reports that Iranian culture minister Mohammad Hosseini confirmed that his country will not submit a film for consideration at the 2013 Oscars in protest of the anti-Islam YouTube video that acted as a pretext for some of the deadly riots in Libya and the Middle East.
What does the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science have to do with the low-budget, never-seen-in-its-entirety movie? Hosseini said the Oscar organizers have failed to condemn the “film,” and thus a boycott will ensue.
Huh? This reads like it’s straight out of The Onion.
Iran won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film earlier this year with A Separation, and yet the Iranian bureaucrats will allow no Iranian submissions this year in order to boycott the negative portrayal of their religious culture?
Talk about backwards. Not only does this not send any message other than that your country is just as culturally repressive as we had assumed, but it also prevents any positive depictions of your culture from reaching the West. Instead of fighting the negative images of Muslim culture with positive artistic expression, the Iranian government fights it by unwittingly contributing to those negative images.
And besides, boycotting the Oscars because they won’t condemn some boneheaded “trailer” made by a former gas station worker is like boycotting Sesame Street because an insanely anti-Semitic man dressed up as Elmo went around cursing at people in Central Park (remember that guy?). It’s like boycotting the United Nations because they won’t condemn Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s large sugary beverage ban.
In other words: it makes absolutely no sense.
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