In the wake of President Trump’s sweeping travel bans back in January, there were thousands of people affected. While travelers were delayed and families were separated, Oscar winner and 2017 Oscar nominee Asghar Farhadi took a stand. In a statement, the director announced that due to the travel bans, he would not come from his home in Iran to take part in the awards show.
Farhadi won the award, and in his place, he sent the first ever Iranian to go into outer space, scientist and astronaut Anousheh Ansari, to accept his Oscar. The statement she read on his behalf was more powerful and moving than we could have imagined.
In the prepared statement, the director pulled no punches, explaining that he wouldn’t be in attendance in solidarity with all his countrymen and women, as well as all the people throughout the world who the travel ban affected.
Using strong but respectful language, Farhadi made his point, and Ansari gave voice to his powerful words. Sometimes, having a third party read your statement is far more powerful than if you are there to say it yourself, and Farhadi’s statement is one of those times.
This is not the first time that an Oscar winner has taken such a powerful stand. Back in the ’70s, actor Marlon Brando sent an activist and actress called Sacheen Littlefeather on stage to make a statement on his behalf after he won for The Godfather. Brando did not accept his award and Littlefeather read a statement for him.
At the time, many were angry with the actor for his refusal of acceptance, but it can be seen as a turning point in the way that Native American people are treated in film and on television.
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(Photos via Kevin Winter + Michael Loccisano/Getty)