Going into the Academy Awards, we knew that at least one nominee wouldn't be in attendance, The Salesman director, Asghar Farhadi. In a category that was loaded with talent, Farhadi won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-American space explorer and impressive businesswoman, accepted the award on his behalf. But Ansari came prepared to the 2017 Oscars with a statement from Asghar Farhadi, who had a brief but powerful message about the immigration ban that caused him to skip the ceremony in the first place.
Ansari is from Iran, one of the seven countries from which immigrants are temporarily banned from entering the United States, due to an executive order issued by President Trump. Farhadi had previously announced that he would not attend the Oscars even if an exception was made to allow him into the country.
He stayed true to that promise, and so Ansari took the stage to read a statement from the director. It stated:
You can also watch Ansari deliver the statement in the video below:
Statement read on behalf of foreign language film winner Asghar Farhadi denounces "inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US" pic.twitter.com/KL5JidEhA4— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017
The statement received a thunderous round of applause from the Oscar attendees the moment it mentioned Farhadi's opposition to the ban, and again when Ansari finished reading it. That shouldn't have been surprising, as many celebrities have previously spoken out against the ban. And in a statement released to Bustle prior to the ceremony, the Academy supported Farhadi. It read in part:
Through both his absence and this concise message, Farhadi brought a powerful reminder to the Oscars of the dividing consequences of this order.