Trump travel ban takes shine off diversity boost
The Oscars looked like it might manage to avoid controversy this year, after the #OscarsSoWhite protests in the past two years about the lack of diversity among nominees.
This year there is a noticeably more diverse list, so the Academy is clearly working to adress the criticisms – but then Donald Trump crashed the party by signing an executive order banning citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya – from entering the United States for 90 days.
It was subsequently blocked by the US courts – the Trump administration is expected to unveil a revised version this week – but the initial order meant that at least two people involved in films nominated for Best Foreign Language Film would not be able to attend the Academy Awards: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who won an Oscar in 2012 for A Separation; and Swedish-Iranian actress Bahar Pars, who stars in Sweden’s entry, A Man Called Ove.
At the end, Farhadi said he would not attend the awards, regardless of whether the travel ban was lifted or not, in protest. Pars, who has dual citizenship, has said she intends to be there.
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for The Salesman.