Tonight, director Asghar Farhadi, the man behind “The Salesman”, which won the award for Best Foreign Language Film, did not attend the Academy Awards to protest President Trump’s travel ban.
Engineer Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian to go into space, accepted the accolade on his behalf.
Each of the five directors nominated for foreign language film boycotted the awards and President Trump’s travel ban, and together, they issued a statement saying they were dedicating the Oscar, no matter who received it, to those working towards unity.
“We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stand as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts.”
The filmmakers wrote: “The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on – not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly ‘foreign’ and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better. These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different.”
“The Salesman” follows an Iranian couple who are forced to move to a new apartment after a violent incident.