Oscar winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi among those barred from US

Because I do what I do, most of the people I follow on social media are celebrity-oriented. So with the shocking events of Saturday, the first face put to the Muslim ban for me was Academy Award winning director Asghar Faradi. Mr. Farhadi won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012 for his film A Separation. His film, The Salesman, is a nominee for this year’s Academy Award. However, as a result of the president’s executive order, Farhadi may be banned from entering the United States to attend the ceremony. Yesterday, The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences responded to his being barred from the US.

The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences responded to unconfirmed reports that Iranian Oscar nominee Asghar Farhadi is now barred from entering the U.S. due to President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.

“The Academy celebrates achievement in the art of filmmaking, which seeks to transcend borders and speak to audiences around the world, regardless of national, ethnic, or religious differences,” the statement, obtained by EW, reads. “As supporters of filmmakers—and the human rights of all people—around the globe, we find it extremely troubling that Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Oscar-winning film from Iran A Separation, along with the cast and crew of this year’s Oscar-nominated film The Salesman, could be barred from entering the country because of their religion or country of origin.”

[From Entertainment Weekly]

Some of the film’s cast declared Farhadi’s situation, “total chaos,”. There were reports that Farahdi might qualify for a waiver so that he could attend but National Iranian-American Council president Trita Parsi told the LA Times that since Farhadi only holds an Iranian passport, it is highly unlikely that he would receive special consideration. Even if allowed, Farhadi said yesterday that he will not attend the ceremony because, “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.” You can read his full statement here, it is both enlightened and gracious at a time when no one would have blamed him had he been bitter. Actress Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in A Separation, said she will boycott the Oscars because of the ban. In a similar effort, Iraq-based filmmaker Hussein Hassan withdrew his application to attend the premiere of his film Reseba (a.k.a. The Dark Wind) at the Miami Film Festival in protest of this terrible order.

During his 2012 acceptance speech, Farhadi eloquently celebrated his country, “that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.” I am sorry we will miss what would likely have been an equally moving speech this year if he won.

To all the politicians who actually spoke out against this ban, to all of the attorneys who offered their services pro bono to those affected, to everyone who did whatever they could to get information out or show the rest of the world that the current administration does not speak for us on this most recent gross abuse of power – thank you.



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24 Responses to “Oscar winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi among those barred from US”

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  1. JudyK says:


  2. Dtab says:

    There are no words 🙁

  3. Blanca says:

    Thank you Hecate, I loved your post. I feel like we are living in an “alternative reality” from the Man in the High Castle. This Monday has been an emotional rollercoaster with all those amazing speeches.

  4. Clare says:

    So much respect for people who may be eligible for ‘special’ treatment, but don’t want it. We’ll need to stick together on this one, folks.

  5. paolanqar says:

    I am convinced that if he stays president too long we’ll be on the path for Holocaust n.2.

  6. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    How does anyone think this is okay? Every day is a nightmare. I can’t believe they’re getting away with this! I’m fearful of what’s next.

    On Saturday, my husband & I attended an event with two family members that are Trump voters. One of them is my mother. I keep hoping she’ll see the light & be horrified by what Drumpf and the GOP are doing, but I see it’s pointless.

  7. QQ says:

    This is unacceptable,we are careening towards something really really ugly that as an immigrant from Venezuela who can’t even go see her dad without getting stuck in consular and bureaucracy limbo, I can 100% assure you will take YEARS to crawl out of, I truly hope that the resentful angry tantrum that propelled the vote for that walking Sh!tshow dressed in an ill fitting suit was worth it.

    P.s. Is anyone following the Roguewhitehouse account?? Priebus is the only thing holding governance together and Priebus wants to go and The Groper is completely off the rails angry/sad that no one likes him and Bannon is apparently all for getting the National Guard involved in dispersing protests

    • Peeking in says:

      I’m following that account. It’s very informative. I think it was temporarily suspended on Saturday.

      • QQ says:

        I’m scared for them being found out but also is it not insane that basically we’re in for a free fall the way they are holding this sh!t together behind the scenes practically with Duct Tape and Prayers

    • someone says:

      Sorry you are stuck in limbo, but that’s more because of how much of a mess the immigration system is, isn’t it? I’m from India and several years ago, I could not travel for 6 months because my green card processing was at a particular stage. Hope they simplfiy the rules. The country has the right to decide who to allow in, but should make it easier to navigate for folks.

  8. Suzie says:


  9. Lambda says:

    If there’s a very narrow silver lining here, I at least hope that more people would get to enjoy the Iranian film making, one of the most distinguished in the world. Farhadi’s About Elly is heart wrenching and A Separation is a masterpiece.

    • Pedro45 says:

      A Separation is one of my favorite movies. It truly is a masterpiece.

    • swak says:

      Can you tell me where I might be able to watch these two movies?

      • Lambda says:

        About Elly is on Netflix and I remember seeing the DVD for A Separation at Target of all places.

      • Pedro45 says:

        SWAK: You may want to check your local library for DVDs. If they don’t have it they can usually request it from another library. That’s what I do when I want to see something that isn’t On Demand or streaming. I highly encourage you to see his movies. He makes things seem personal and universal at the same time, like all great artists do.

  10. Sunnyjyl says:

    I feel like I am living in an alternate universe. My country is being hijacked by scary assholes. Instead of going to another protest, this weekend, I was crazy busy preparing report cards, and tending to my life as if everything is normal, the whole time feeling like nothing is normal. I would not blame the whole rest of the world if they boycotted doing any business with the U.S. for the next four years.

  11. Marie says:

    Another person affected by the Cheeto’s EO (reposted from FB):

    Dr. Asgari, a specialist in human genomics and genetics of infectious diseases, holds a doctorate from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. She authors papers with titles like, “Disease-Corrected Hepatocyte-Like Cells from Familial Hypercholesterolemia-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells,” and has given lectures on how rare genetic defects might make infants more susceptible to viral respiratory infections. (http://bit.ly/2kFyUkw)

    Last May, Soumya Raychaudhuri (PhD, MD), an associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, attended a talk by Dr. Asgari at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Dr. Raychaudhuri’s lab studies “the basis of autoimmune disease using techniques in human genetics, bioinformatics, and systems biology,” so both he and Dr. Asgari work in related fields.

    He was impressed enough with her talk that he invited Dr. Asgari to work on a tuberculosis project at his laboratory. Dr. Asgari agreed, and was granted a J-1 Visa to work in the United States along with two years of funding for her research by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

    Earlier today, after months of planning, Dr. Asgari boarded a plane from Switzerland to Frankfurt. She then attempted to board a plane for the United States, where she was promptly rejected. You see, even though she lives in Switzerland, Dr. Asgari is an Iranian national. So she no longer qualifies for Trump’s America.

    It doesn’t matter that she already had an approved Visa, and it certainly doesn’t matter than she was going to be engaged in high-level research aimed at defeating tuberculosis, Type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. She’s Iranian. She’s Muslim. She’s not welcome. With no other choice, Dr. Asgari returned to Switzerland where she now has no job and no place to live.

    This is who we are now.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      She was one of several affected people profiled in a New York Times article. Every single story is heartbreaking. Many have been waiting YEARS to come to the US to either contribute to their field of work or to reunite with their families and have had their lives turned completely upside down because of this hateful man and his merry band of Neo Nazis. I’m sickened. The loss of these people’s contribution to American society will be felt for generations.

    • someone says:

      Do you remmeber the Pakistani female nuclear scientist that supported Al Qaeda? Sadly, don’t assume that because someone is educated and a scientist, they don’t support bad folks.

  12. serena says:

    God, this is sad and unbelievable. I feel for all the people who are suffering and I want to hug everyone trying their best to help. US is in full fledged fascism now.