Iranian movie star boycotts Oscars over Trump plan for visa ban


CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 21: Taraneh Alidoosti attends “The Salesman (Forushande)” Premiere during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 21, 2016 in Cannes, France (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

One of Iran’s leading actors says she’s staying away from the Oscars in protest over President Trump’s plans for a visa ban.

Taraneh Alidoosti announced her decision to boycott the Academy Awards on Thursday. The film she stars in — “The Salesman” — has been nominated in the best foreign film category.

“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest,” she tweeted.

According to a draft executive order obtained by CNN, Trump is planning to bar all persons from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen from entering the U.S. for 30 days.

The move is consistent with the “Muslim ban” that Trump promised during the 2016 presidential campaign. While the measure doesn’t reference Islam specifically, advocacy groups said the order was plainly targeting Muslims.

Sources familiar with the order said Trump could sign it as early as Friday, but caution the language is not yet final.

Alidoosti is the lead actress of the “The Salesman,” which was also nominated for a Golden Globe earlier this year and screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

The movie is directed by Asghar Farhadi. He became the first Iranian filmmaker to win an Oscar when “A Separation” took the best foreign language film title in 2012.

Alidoosti is not new to controversy.

Last year, she was attacked for having a tattoo of a women’s rights symbol on her arm. Some hardliners in Iran’s conservative society accused her of being anti-family and pro-abortion.

She was defiant on Twitter: “Keep calm and YES I’m a feminist,” she posted.

The Academy Awards have been boycotted before. Filmmaker Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith did not attend last year’s ceremony over a lack of diversity among nominees.

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