Hours after Asghar Farhadi criticized Donald Trump’s attempted Muslim travel ban as “inhumane” in his acceptance speech for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards, the U.S. State Department tweeted and then deleted a message of congratulations to the Iranian director.
Reuters reports the message came from the Department’s official Persian-language account, @USAdarFarsi. A screenshot of the deleted tweet is below.
— ERSHAD ALIJANI (@ErshadAlijani) February 27, 2017
“A congratulatory tweet was posted,” a State Department spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters. “We later removed the post to avoid any misperception that the USG (U.S. government) endorsed the comments made in the acceptance speech.”
Farhadi boycotted the ceremony in protest of Trump’s proposed travel ban, which targets Iran and six other predominantly Muslim countries. Iranian astronaut and engineer Anousheh Ansari accepted the award for Farhadi and read a statement he’d prepared.
“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 who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S,” the statement said. “Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fears. A deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries, which have themselves been victims of aggression.”
Initially published on SPIN on February 28, 2017 by Taylor Berman