Director Asghar Farhadi of the Oscar-nominated film The Salesman may be blocked from attending the awards ceremony by President Donald Trump‘s ban on Muslims. His film, a story about a young couple living in Tehran, is nominated for best foreign language film.
Farhadi is from Iran, one of the seven Muslim-majority nations Trump has banned from entering the country in an effort to “keep radical Islam” out of the U.S. The ban also postpones admitting Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Signed into executive order on Friday, these bans have already taken effect to detain Muslims at U.S. access points, and they are being countered by law, civil rights, and refugee groups.
According to Trita Parsi, president and founder of the grassroots nonprofit organization National Iranian American Council, Farhadi is confirmed to be blocked from attending the Academy Awards ceremony in February.
However, conflicting reports from journalists say no legal obstacle blocks Farhadi from attending the Oscars, and he has yet to decide if he wants to go.
According to the Iranian Students’ News Agency, Farhadi’s office denies that it’s illegal for him to travel to the U.S., though the report does not mention how Farhadi can enter the country against the executive order. The Daily Dot has reached out to Farhadi’s representation for comment.
One of Farhadi’s leading actors in The Salesman, Taraneh Alidoosti, has already stated she’s boycotting this year’s awards to protest Trump’s Muslim ban. Her announcement came one day before Trump signed the executive action.
“This is not about me or the Academy Awards, it’s about having a discussion about this decision,” Alidoosti told the New York Times. “This is such a bizarre ban, it is uprooting people’s lives in ways not imaginable.”