Iran’s hard-line Fars News Agency edited an image of Michelle Obama at the Academy Awards to cover up her bare chest and shoulders, but they couldn’t do anything about the award she presented to Ben Affleck’s “Argo.”
As the Guardian points out, this kind of censorship strikes often in Iran — Iranian women can appear on TV only in hijab, and foreigners “are tolerated without the hijab,” but only “up to a point.”
Obama’s gown was not Iran’s only Oscar-night grievance. Iranian officials also criticized the award she presented — a best-picture win for "Argo" — after months of lambasting the "advertisement for the CIA." Fars called it “anti-Iran” and said Warner Brothers, its production company, is “Zionist."
The film depicts the rescue of six American diplomats during the 1979 hostage crisis and is not — as you may have guessed — particularly flattering to the Islamic Republic.
“The film was neither technically nor artistically worth all the awards and the reasons were more due to its anti-Iran aspects,” Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. “The film is an effort to distort history and impose the U.S. angle.”
Twitter pundits also did not fail to see the perceived insult of the first lady presenting an award to Argo.
Who says the Obama administration is soft on Iran? Michelle just gave best picture to Argo! #burn
— Devin Gordon (@Devingo913) February 25, 2013
Michelle Obama just declared war on Iran
— Michael C Moynihan (@mcmoynihan) February 25, 2013
Do I even need to comment on Michelle Obama presenting best picture to a US revisionist war film about Iran? Didn't think so, thanks
— Allison Francis (@silverspeakers) February 25, 2013