Prior to the Oscars award ceremony on Sunday, Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi announced in January that he would skip the event, citing President Donald Trump's controversial executive order on immigration and refugees.
Trump's order temporarily halted the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days and temporarily banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S., including Farhadi's home of Iran. The latter part of Trump's order is the point Farhadi most took issue with.
"I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations," Farhadi said in January, according to NBC News.
When push came to shove over the weekend, Farhadi made good on his promise to skip the event. That meant when his movie, "The Salesman," won the award for best foreign language film, Farhadi wasn't there to accept the award.
Instead, he sent a letter to be read in his absence. In the letter, Farhadi stated that he skipped the awards ceremony "out of respect" for Iran and the other six Muslim-majority nations "disrespected" by Trump's "inhumane law."
Statement read on behalf of foreign language film winner Asghar Farhadi denounces "inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US" pic.twitter.com/KL5JidEhA4
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017
The full letter read:
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, 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 whom 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 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 that we need today more than ever.
The letter received two rousing applauses from the crowd, once at the end and another following the line where Farhadi called Trump's order "inhumane."
But while Farhadi was quick to label Trump's executive order "inhumane," he completely ignored any of the inhumane laws deployed be his own country, whose legal system is based on a modified form of Islamic Shariah law and is openly anti-Semitic, often calling for death to all Israelites and Americans.
In addition to frequently executing criminals and dissidents via firing squad, hanging, beheading, stoning and throwing people from heights, Iran also uses amputation and flogging as punishment for crimes like theft, consumption of alcohol and "lesbianism."
Those facts, however, were conveniently left out of Farhadi's letter.