Donald Trump's travel ban bid likely hot topic at award ceremony

Amidst the tears, thanks and tributes, President Donald Trump and his attempts to keep Muslim immigrants from entering the US is likely to be a hot topic at the Oscars on Sunday.

While the travel ban has been blocked by the courts, a revamped refugee and immigration executive order will be released by the White House next week.

(Evan Vucci/AP)

The director and the star of an Oscar-nominated film have both said they will not attend the awards because of President Trump’s immigration policies and it is likely that those who do attend will use their platform to speak out.

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose movie The Salesman will compete for the best foreign language film, has announced he will not attend the ceremony regardless of whether he is allowed to enter the country.

The film’s star Taraneh Alidoosti also said she would not attend the Oscars, tweeting: “Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the Academy Awards 2017 in protest.”

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose film is nominated for an Oscar, has said he will not attend the ceremony even if he is granted permission to go despite US President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

It has been an awards season dominated by politics, with Meryl Streep kicking off proceedings by blasting Trump without naming him at the Golden Globes.

Collecting an honorary prize at the ceremony, she said: “There was one performance this year that stunned me.

“It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective, and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.

Meryl Streep (Ian West/PA)

“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back.

“It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.”

Streep was referring to a rally in South Carolina when the presidential candidate appeared to make fun of a New York Times journalist who has a congenital joint condition.

The actress also referred to Trump’s immigration policies, when she said: “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if you kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

At the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which took place just days after the executive order was signed, Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus branded the ban “a blemish” and “un-American” while La La Land star Emma Stone said Trump’s actions were “inexcusable and scary”.

Moonlight star Mahershala Ali tearfully told the crowd his mother “didn’t go back flips” when he converted to Islam 17 years ago but they quickly realised “that stuff is minutiae, it’s not that important”.

Mahershala Ali (Jordan Strauss/AP/PA)

He added: “We see what happens when you persecute people, they fold into themselves.”

Before the courts blocked the travel ban, Oscar organisers said it was ”extremely troubling” that the makers of the nominated film could be barred from entering the US.

Farhadi’s film A Separation won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2012.


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