In one of the most dramatic moments of the 2017 Oscars, the director of the best foreign language film, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, had Iranian-American engineer Anousheh Ansari accept the award on his behalf and read a prepared statement that protested President Donald Trump.
Farhadi boycotted the awards show in response to Trump’s immigration ban, barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, as well as refugees from coming to the United States.
“I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight,” Farhadi’s statement read. “My absence is out of respect for the the people of my country and those of the other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.
“Dividing the world into the us and our enemies categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war,” Ansari said onstage, as she continued to read Farhadi’s statement.
Farhadi’s statement closed with him giving praise to his fellow filmmakers who “break stereotypes.”
“They create empathy between us and others,” he said in the statement. “An empathy that we need today more than ever.”
Watch Ansari read the entire statement below:
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