Di­ver­sity //

Trump travel ban takes shine off di­ver­sity boost

The National - News - Arts & Life - - Front Page -

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.

Chris New­bould

Greg Do­herty / Getty Im­ages

Ira­nian di­rec­tor As­ghar Farhadi is nom­i­nated for Best For­eign Lan­guage Film for The Sales­man.

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