Iran will not submit a film for Academy Award consideration because of “an intolerable insult to the Prophet,” culture minister Muhammad Hosseini told INSA news.
The “insult” is the hideous piece of schlock filmmaking/BS propaganda The Innocence of Muslims which has provoked deaths, riots and unrest in the Middle East, as well as lawsuits in the United States. A court in Los Angeles denied an actress’ request to have Google remove the film from YouTube.
Citing the failure of Academy Awards organizers to take a position on the incendiary footage, Hosseini urged other Islamic countries to follow also boycott. Last year Iran won ran won its first Oscar in the best foreign language film category with Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation.” According to Variety:
The country’s committee in charge of selecting Iran’s Oscar candidate had already picked helmer-scribe Reza Mirkarimi’s dramedy “A Cube of Sugar” — about a family wedding that turns into a funeral when a member of the groom’s family dies — for Oscar consideration.
By not submitting a film, Iran is kinda cutting off their nose to spite their face, as art and culture are often an ambassadors for goodwill which can open dialog (though obviously as seen by recent events, one asshole with a video camera and a computer can cause a world of pain).
Egypt and Libya may miss the deadline, which is October 1st, though Academy Award officials say the countries lack of entries is “probably not connected to political factors surrounding the Arab Spring.”
The Academy Awards ceremony, which airs February 24, is televised live in over 100 countries. So far no Muslim countries have stated they will block the ceremony’s broadcast.