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The Iranian director of the Oscar-winning movie for best foreign film was notably absent from the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night.

Iranian American scientist Anousheh Ansari accepted the award on behalf of “The Salesman” director Asghar Farhadi, who a few weeks ago announced that he would boycott the ceremony because of President Trump’s immigration ban.

She accepted the award and delivered a prepared statement from Ansari:

“I’m sorry I cannot be with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of us who have been disrespected of by the inhumane law that disrespects 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 words prevent democracy and human rights in countries which themselves have been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religion. They create empathy between us and others, an empathy which we need now more than ever.”

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