PHOTO: The Academy Awards wasn't without a travel ban reference. (Photo via Flickr/Davidlohr Bueso)
Sunday’s Oscars were, to say the least, interesting.
The final moments featured one of the wildest moments in Academy Award history, a gaffe that saw “Moonlight” take best picture, but only after “La La Land” had enjoyed a few moments in what would be an elusive spotlight.
Tucked in the middle of the show, amid Donald Trump jokes peppered into the proceedings, was a poignant moment offered by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.
Farhadi took an award for his foreign language film “The Salesman” but was not in the country.
Instead, his absence was a show of protest over the since halted travel ban signed into executive order by President Trump. Rather than the filmmaker standing on the stage, Iran’s first person in space, Anousheh Ansari, accepted the award and delivered the following message from Farhadi, via the LA Times:
“It’s a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I would like to thank the members of the academy, my crew in Iran, my producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Cohen Media, Amazon and my fellow nominees in the foreign-film category.
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.
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.
Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others. An empathy which we need today more than ever. Thank you.”
READ MORE: Will Trump's New Travel Ban Derail US Bid to Host 2026 World Cup?
For those who missed the moment, it was captured and posted to social media by the Washington Examiner:
The Trump administration previously signed an executive order that would have banned migrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entry into the United States. The order hit a wall in the courts but will remain the precursor to a more refined order to come within the next few days.
The Associated Press reports in all likelihood, a renewed immigration order may come as soon as Wednesday.
The report quotes White House spokesman Sean Spicer who explained the order was being stalled “to make sure that when we execute this, it's done in a manner that's flawless.” The president’s previous executive order led to a massive wave of protests and an eventual death knell by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
While halted in court, the travel ban lives on as a source of protest and umbrage for those who find fault in this administration’s policies.