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Major award shows such as the Grammys and the Oscars are right around the corner, but much of the arts and entertainment world is spending more time reacting to the new presidency of Donald Trump and his recent executive order on immigration. Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:


    Writers Guild of America calls travel ban 'un-American'; stands behind Asghar Farhadi

    Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, whose film "The Salesman" is nominated for an Oscar. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
    Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, whose film "The Salesman" is nominated for an Oscar. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

    The Writers Guild of America released a statement Sunday calling President Trump's travel ban both "unconstitutional" and "deeply wrong" as well as voicing support for Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who has declined his invitation to the Oscar ceremony, despite his film "The Salesman" being nominated for foreign language film. 

    "It is both unconstitutional and deeply wrong to say that you cannot enter our country because of where you were born or what religion you were born into," said Michael Winship, president of Writers Guild of America East and Howard A. Rodman, president of Writers Guild of America, in a joint statement.

    "The Writers Guilds of America, East and West condemn Donald Trump’s profoundly un-American ‘Muslim ban,’ and applaud the federal court’s decision to grant a stay that will keep those being held at American airports from being forcibly returned to their countries. Human rights – including the freedoms of speech and religion – are essential to all Americans and to all who come here to build better lives," said Winship and Rodman.

    Trump signed an executive order Friday suspending refugee arrivals and banning entry to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran and Syria.

    In response to the ban, Farhadi stated Sunday that he would not be attending the Academy Awards ceremony as "condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots." 

    "We are especially troubled by reports that Asghar Farhadi, director of 'The Salesman,' which won Best Screenplay at Cannes and is now nominated for an Oscar, may together with his cast and crew be prevented from entering our country," Winship and Rodman stated. "From its early days, the entertainment industry has been built by the imagination of immigrants. Our guilds are unions of storytellers who have always welcomed those from other nations, and of varying beliefs, who wish to share their creativity with America.  We are grateful to them, we stand with them, we will fight for them.”

    The travel ban also means that the Syrian Civil Defense volunteers who served as the subjects of Academy Award-nominated documentary short "The White Helmets" will also be unable to attend the ceremony.

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