Over the weekend, news came out that Oscar-nominated director Asghar Farhadi would not be attending this year’s Oscar ceremony in protest of Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. Farhadi is Iranian, and though people were confident he’d be able to get a special waiver, he has said that he’s refusing to go whether the government allows him to or not.
Farhadi isn’t the only one that Trump’s anti-Muslim ban is keeping away from the Academy Awards, though. According to Variety, the subjects of the Oscar-nominated documentary short The White Helmets will also be unable to enter the country. The film is about a team of humanitarian workers in Syria, and White Helmets producer Joanna Natasegara had intended to bring the group’s leader and the film’s cinematographer to the Academy Awards as her guests. Unfortunately, as Syrians, Trump’s ban applies to them just as it does to Farhadi.
In a statement, Natasegara noted that this team has been “nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize” and that they are “the bravest humanitarians on the planet,” so the idea that they’re unable to celebrate their film “is just abhorrent.” The Academy Awards will be held on February 26, and it seems safe to say that the night will probably be just as political as this weekend’s SAG Awards.