Iran Wins Best Foreign Film Oscar, Director’s Powerful Statement Read Live

(Kevin Winter/Getty)
Anousheh Ansari accepts Best Foreign Language Film for 'The Salesman' on behalf of director Asghar Farhadi Sunday's Oscars telecast.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/GETTY Images)

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi skipped Sunday night’s telecast of the 89th Annual Academy Awards, for which his film “The Salesman” was nominated and won for Best Foreign Language Film, in protest of Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel to and from seven Muslim-majority countries. The director, who previously received an Academy Award in 2012 for the film “A Separation,” had a statement prepared in his absence which was read live during the telecast by Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-American engineer and the first female space tourist.

Farhadi’s statement:

It’s a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, my crew in Iran, my producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Cohen Media, Amazon and my fellow nominees for the foreign film category.

I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S. Dividing the world into the us and the enemy categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for regression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries in which have themselves have 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 we need today more than ever.

On a personal note, as an Iranian-American, I am pleased to see the artistic accomplishments of Iranian filmmakers rewarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. From the time I watched the film “Children of Heaven,” which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1997 when I was just a young man, I have yearned for Iran’s rich culture and evocative films, art, cinema, and heritage to receive broader mainstream attention in the American media. Congrats to Mr. Farhadi on a beautiful film.

In terms of his statement: What do you think? Do Farhadi’s words resonate or should Americans not pay credence to anti-Trump comments from a country that appears on the list of restrictions?

Alex Mohajer
About Alex Mohajer 207 Articles
Named one of OUT Magazine's 100 Most Eligible Bachelors of 2017, Alex Mohajer is a controversial political writer and commentator whose unapologetic post-election commentary has made him one of the most shared contributors at The Huffington Post. He is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Bros4America (formerly Bros4Hillary), a progressive advocacy organization that gained national recognition during the 2016 presidential election for its efforts to elect Hillary Clinton. Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts from U.C. Berkeley where he studied politics with progressive champion Robert Reich, and a Juris Doctorate from from Chapman University School of Law, where he studied constitutional law with conservative hero Hugh Hewitt. While in law school, he was fittingly awarded "Most Likely To Be Held in Contempt" by his graduating class. He has been interviewed for or featured on The Fox News Channel, PolitiFact, The Huffington Post, Washington Post, LA and NY Times, AfterBuzz TV, OUT and Instinct Magazine(s), Dan Savage Blog, TheWrap, Yahoo News, New York Public Radio, The David Pakman Show, The Ann Walker Show, and more. Named by LGBTQ Nation to their Top 8 People Working to Elect Hillary Clinton. Alex is an author, public/motivational speaker, and an award-winning singer, actor, and solo artist who was nominated for a 2016 Broadway World Award for Best Male Cabaret Artist. Alex lives in Los Angeles with his dog, Bruce Wayne. Press inquiries and bookings: press@bros4america.com