Oscar-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi will skip next month's Academy Awards following President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, saying he would not attend even if granted an exception to the travel ban.
In a statement to the New York Times, Farhadi said he previously planned on attending the event with his cinematographer but would not now in light of the executive order Trump signed Friday that banned refugees from entering the U.S. for at least 120 days. The order also prohibited citizens from six other Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., including those from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Farhadi's native Iran.
"I have decided to not attend the Academy Awards Ceremony alongside my fellow members of the cinematic community," Farhadi, whose movie "The Salesman" is up for Best Foreign Language Film, told the Times. "I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations."
Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, broadcast Farhadi's situation in a tweet, saying: "Iran's Asghar Farhadi won't be let into the US to attend Oscar's. He's nominated for best foreign language film... #MuslimBan."
A day before Trump signed the executive order, "The Salesman" actress Taraneh Alidoosti announced that she would be boycotting the awards ceremony to show her objection to talks of a ban.
On Twitter, the 33-year-old actress said: "Trump's visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won't attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest."
Thousands of protesters gathered for a second day Sunday in cities and airports across the country as immigration and civil rights groups continued to file actions to help legal immigrants enter the country after Trump signed the controversial travel ban on Friday. About 200 people will be affected by the ruling, the ACLU estimates.
Farhadi's 2012 film "The Separation" won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film five years ago and his most recent nomination marks the third time in history an Iranian film has been recognized by the Academy.