During the 89th Academy Awards, Iranian-American engineer Anousheh Ansari accepted The Salesman’s award for Best Foreign Language film on behalf of director Asghar Farhadi, who did not appear at the ceremony to protest Donald Trump's so-called Muslim ban.
Before the US courts blocked the controversial ruling, it was believed Farhadi would not be able to enter the country at all; on the night, himself and lead actor Taraneh Alidoosti boycotted the event.
Of course, the win was still big news in Iran - one of the seven countries named in Trump’s executive order banning travel to and from the US.
Presenting the award was Charlize Theron and Shirley MacLaine, the Mad Max actor wearing a dress with a plunging neckline.
Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) decided to crudely photoshop clothing over Theron, covering her arms, body, and neck, leading to a very bizarre-looking piece of television.
When Ansari accepted the award, the partial area of skin that protruded through the dress was also covered by the network, ILNA using a blurring technique to censor the image. Watch the footage below.
Speaking to The New York Times’ Women in the World, Masih Alinejad - who uploaded the footage to Facebook and a prominent voice fighting Iran’s compulsory hijab laws - explained how the state-run broadcaster goes to “absurd” lengths to keep women’s bodies covered.
“This is the Islamic Republic of Iran which forces girls as young as age seven to be covered up,” she told the publication. “While many of us, including Americans, are expressing our opposition to Trump’s Muslim ban, we also have to be louder and clearer about our condemnation of Islamic Republic of Iran’s ban on women who can’t enter Iran without hijab.
“Women from all religions and cultures, many of whom are flogged and imprisoned inside Iran for not wearing ‘proper hijab.’”
Farhadi's film The Salesman was nominated in the Foreign Language category alongside Land of Mine (Denmark), Toni Erdmann (Germany), A Man Called Ove (Sweden) and Tanna (Australia). The film follows a high school teacher (Shahab Hosseini) who seeks revenge against the perpetrator who attacked his wife (Alidoosti) in their apartment.
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