Tuesday 23 January 2018

One of the biggest Oscars parties has been cancelled as an anti-Trump protest

United Talent Agency has cancelled its annual Academy Awards party as an anti-Trump protest
United Talent Agency has cancelled its annual Academy Awards party as an anti-Trump protest
U.S. President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Sasha Brady

One of the biggest talent agencies in the world has cancelled its annual Oscars party as an anti-Trump protest.

United Talent Agency (UTA) traditionally hosts a glitzy party for its superstar clients the Friday before the Oscars,

But it announced on Wednesday that it would cancel its annual Academy Awards bash and will instead donate money to refugee relief and to fighting Donald Trump's immigration ban impacting seven majority-Muslim countries.

The agency will donate US$250,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee.

Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker and UTA client Asghar Farhadi
Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker and UTA client Asghar Farhadi

UTA is home to big-name clients such as Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mariah Carey, Angelina Jolie, Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Radcliffe, Bryan Cranston, Alicia Vikander, Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Ewan McGregor and more.

It will also host a rally in Los Angeles two days before the Oscars "to express the creative community's growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States," Variety magazine reported on Wednesday.

"This is a moment that demands our generosity, awareness and restlessness," UTA chief Jeremy Zimmer said in a letter obtained by Variety.

"Our world is a better place for the free exchange of artists, ideas and creative expression. If our nation ceases to be the place where artists the world over can come to express themselves freely, then we cease, in my opinion, to be America."

One of the UTA's clients, Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, has thanked the agency for their support and said that he is "honoured and in tears".

He was nominated in the best foreign language film category this year for The Salesman but announced that he will forgo the trip to the US due to "the unjust circumstances" of the immigration ban.

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