One of the biggest moments at the 89th Academy Awards came courtesy of someone who wasn’t even there.
The Salesman‘s writer-director Asghar Farhadi (pictured above at the 2014 Oscars) won the award for Best Foreign Language Film, but chose not to attend the event in protest of President Donald Trump’s recent travel ban against several nations, including Farhadi’s home country of Iran.
Instead, the following statement was read on his behalf:
It’s a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. … I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans [the] entry of immigrants into the U.S. Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which themselves have been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nations and religions. They create empathy between us and others, an empathy that we need today more than ever.
Watch footage of Farhadi’s statement below:
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017
Your thoughts on Farhadi using his win to make a powerful political statement? Drop ’em in a comment below.