It’s not just you: Iranian state media are very unhappy with last night’s Oscars

February 25, 2013

An image of Michelle Obama running on Farsnews.com.

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.”

Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray and Radio Free Europe’s Golnaz Esfandiari unearthed the above picture, which shows Obama as she appeared on the Fars News Agency's Web site. Actual photo of her dress below.


First lady Michelle Obama, appearing on screen from Washington, and actor Jack Nicholson present the award for best picture. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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.

 

 

 

Iran is reportedly planning its own big-budget take on the Argo events, titled either “Joint Command” (the Hindu’s translation) or “The General Staff” (the Guardian’s).

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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