Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman won the award for Best Foreign Language Film (which, yay!), but the Iranian director opted not to accept the prize—citing Donald Trump's immigrant ban as the reason.
Iranian-American engineer Anousheh Ansari accepted the award on Farhadi's behalf, and read out the following speech from him.
"I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight. My absence is out of my respect for the people of my country, and those of the other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US. 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 we need today more than ever."
Farhadi previously told the The New York Times that he wouldn't be attending the Oscars, saying, "The possibility of [my presence at the ceremony] 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."