The organiser of the Oscars has said it is "extremely troubling” that the makers of an Iranian film nominated for an Academy Award may be barred from entering the US.
The Salesman, directed by Asghar Farhadi, is nominated for best foreign language film at next month’s ceremony in Los Angeles.
However, the decision by US president Donald Trump to ban nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US has thrown into doubt whether the Iranian cast and crew can attend the awards show.
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A spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said: "As supporters of film-makers – and the human rights of all people – around the globe, we find it extremely troubling that Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Oscar-winning film from Iran A Separation, along with the cast and crew of this year’s Oscar-nominated film The Salesman, could be barred from entering the country because of their religion or country of origin.”
The academy added that it celebrated film-making "which seeks to transcend borders and speak to audiences around the world, regardless of national, ethnic, or religious differences”.
Trump indefinitely blocked US entry to all those fleeing conflict in Syria and imposed a 90-day ban on people from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. He said the move was to allow for "extreme vetting” and to "keep radical Islamic terrorists out” of the US.
Farhadi has not commented on his travel plans, but on Friday, the president of the National Iranian American Council, Trita Parsi, tweeted: "Confirmed: Iran’s Asghar Farhadi won’t be let into the US to attend Oscar’s.”
One of the stars of The Salesman, Iranian actor Taraneh Alidoosti, earlier said she would not attend the Oscars, regardless of whether she was allowed, in protest at Trump’s immigration policies.
She wrote on Twitter: "Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the Academy Awards 2017 in protest.”
Stars from the film industry also voiced anger at Trump’s immigration policies. Film-maker Michael Moore tweeted: "To our Muslim neighbours in the world: I and tens of millions of others are so very sorry. The majority of Americans did not vote for this man.”
Actor and director Rob Reiner tweeted: "Along with liar, racist, misogynist, fool, infantile, sick, narcissist – with the Muslim ban we can now add heartless and evil to [Donald Trump’s] repertoire.”
Meanwhile, actress Kerry Washington said: "Sick to my stomach today about the #MuslimBan. Don’t understand why? Go to @Stl_Manifest & learn the awful history of US rejecting refugees.” The St Louis Manifest is a Twitter account that has highlighted the stories of victims of the Holocaust, in particular those of passengers fleeing Nazi Germany on a vessel who were then barred from entering the US.
Farhadi’s film A Separation won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2012.
This year’s Academy Awards take place on 26 February.