Director Asghar Farhadi won the Academy Award for best foreign language film for his work on "The Salesman," Sunday, but was not there to accept the Oscar.
Vanity Fair reported that instead, the Iranian director sent Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian and first Muslim woman in space, and Firouz Naderi, former director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA, to accept the award on his behalf.
Farhadi said in a January statement to The New York Times that he would not be attending the ceremony, in response to President Donald Trump's controversial ban on immigration from seven majority Muslim countries, and stuck to his word.
Ansari read a statement from Farhadi as she accepted the award:
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 whom have been disrespected by the inhuman law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.
Dividing the world into the us and our enemies categories creates fear. 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 on behalf of Mr. Farhadi.
Watch Ansari read Farhadi's statement at the ceremony in the video from ABC News below.
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