President Trump’s newly announced executive order that imposes restrictions for travel and immigration for citizens of seven countries is already impacting next month’s Academy Awards.
Several entertainers say they will be missing the biggest night in film because of the new regulations.
Asghar Farhadi, director of the Oscar-nominated “The Salesman,” is Iranian and told the New York Times he won’t attend the awards show even if he is granted an exemption from the travel restrictions for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
“I neither had the intention to not attend nor did I want to boycott the event… However, it now seems that the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip,” he stated.
The film’s star Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti said last week she also won't attend the Academy Awards in protest.
The Syrian star of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Watani: My Homeland,” Hala Kamil, can’t attend the Oscars due to the restrictions, director Marcel Mettelsiefen told the New York Times.
“It is very sad she cannot come,” he said. “She is the star of the movie.”
Some celebrity watchers suggested the list of stars not attending due to the policy changes will end there.
Rob Shuter, editor in chief of Naughty Gossip.com, said he doesn’t expect many actors to follow in the footsteps of Alidoosti and Farhadi.
“Most actors will not boycott,” he insisted. “The only ones that might are those who have zero chance of winning or who were not nominated. Actors dream their entire careers about Oscars. They would not miss this chance for the world.”
SiriusXM Radio Host Rich Davis said boycotting the show won’t help Hollywood’s cause.
“Boycotting an awards show doesn't solve much,” he said. “It just gives Trumps supporters another opportunity to call [the] entertainment industry cry baby liberals.”
If the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards are any indication, the Oscars may turn into a politically-charged evening.
At Sunday’s SAG awards a slew of stars like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Ashton Kutcher spoke out against the recent executive order.
"I want you all to know that I am the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France. I am an American patriot and I love this country, and because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes. This immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American,” said Louis-Dreyfus.
The Golden Globes also got political this year, with Meryl Streep using her award acceptance stage time to bash Trump. Host Jimmy Fallon poked fun at the president repeatedly during the Globes as well.
Stars will likely speak up at the Oscars, said Dr. Montana Miller, associate professor of the department of popular culture at Bowling Green State University.
“…Many of the most respected artists in Hollywood are committed to speaking out against social injustice, and these award shows are an important platform for them to do so,” she said.
The Oscars will air Feb. 26 on ABC and Jimmy Kimmel will host.