The Iranian director of one of the "12 best films of the 21st century" is up for an Oscar this year, but he won't be attending the Academy Awards, and President Donald Trump's travel ban is why. Asghar Farhadi, an acclaimed director whose film The Salesman was nominated for best foreign language film, says the uncertainty surrounding his ability to travel to the United States is "in no way acceptable," and that he would not attend next month's ceremony even if an exception to the ban were possible. He says he had initially hoped to attend the awards and express his opinions in the press surrounding the event, reports the AP.
"However, 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," he says. He goes on to condemn the "unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries [Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen]," and expresses "hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations." Farhadi became the first Iranian to win an Oscar, for his 2011 film, A Separation. On Thursday, Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the The Salesman, tweeted she would boycott the Oscars—whether allowed to attend or not—in protest of Trump's immigration policies, which she called "racist."