President Donald Trump’s recent travel ban has not only prompted public anger and legal response, but it’s also moved the United Talent Agency to cancel its yearly Academy Awards party.
Instead, UTA will donate $250,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee and hold a rally on Friday, February 24 to protest the growing threat of anti-immigrant sentiments in the United States.
The UTA took the travel ban personally, as the firm currently stands behind Academy Award-winning Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, whose work for The Salesman has prompted another Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Despite the prestigious honor, Farhadi has opted to skip out on the awards ceremony to protest the Trump ban.
“This is a moment that demands our generosity, awareness, and restlessness,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer in a letter addressing his agency employees. “When fear and division get the better of a society, artists are among the first to feel the impact – and to denounce the ill winds. With our words and our actions, the UTA family is speaking up for so many, including all artists and the vital global conversations they help lead”.