Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, whose film "The Salesman" is nominated to this year’s Oscars, will not be able to attend the award function, as an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump bans entry of citizens from seven Muslim majority countries, including Iran.
Two-time Oscar nominee Farhadi, who wrote and directed "The Salesman", Iran's entry for best foreign-language film, would not be able to attend the Academy Awards on February 26.
The motion picture academy called "extremely troubling," the possible visa ban of Farhadi.
In a statement released Saturday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expressed concern that Farhadi and his cast and crew may not be permitted to attend next month's Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles following President Trump's plan to temporarily suspend issuing visas for people from Iran and six other Muslim countries.
Farhadi has not commented on his travel plans, but on Friday, the president of the National Iranian American Council, Trita Parsi, tweeted: "Confirmed: Iran's Asghar Farhadi won't be let into the US to attend Oscar's."
On Thursday, Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the "The Salesman," tweeted she would boycott the Oscars — whether allowed to attend or not — in protest of Trump's immigration policies, which she called "racist."
In its statement Saturday, the academy said, "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."
Blocking Farhadi would be an indirect result of the so-called Muslim ban, which places a three-month ban on new travel visas for citizens from the predominantly Muslim countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. (The State Department has listed Iran, Sudan and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism.)
The film community took to social media Saturday to register its displeasure at the ban on Farhadi, who won his country's first best foreign-language film Oscar in 2012 for "A Separation".
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil rights and advocacy group based in Washington, plans to file a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of the order as early as Monday.