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Directors Guild, SAG-AFTRA Denounce Trump’s Immigration Policy

Variety logo Variety 2/1/2017 Dave McNary
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The Directors Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA have denounced President Donald Trump’s executive order barring people hailing from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the country.

The guilds issued the statements Tuesday in reaction to the Jan. 27 order to suspend entry of refugees to the U.S. for 120 days and impose an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria. A 90-day ban was also placed on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

The DGA, which has 16,000 members, said: “The DGA strongly believes that artists — regardless of their national origin, faith, or gender — should be able to come to the United States to showcase their work. Policies that prevent this, without due consideration, should be of concern to all who care about art and cinema.”

“The open exchange of art is core to who we are, it’s what motion pictures and television are increasingly about — drawing humanity together, transcending borders and cultures. The DGA will continue to support the ability of artists to work and share their art in the United States.”

SAG-AFTRA, which reps more than 160,000 performers, said: “SAG-AFTRA’s membership includes creative professionals from all over the world. This union values equality of opportunity regardless of race, gender, creed, disability, sexual orientation or country of birth. Any public policy that enacts discrimination based on religious or national background runs absolutely counter to those values and will be vigorously resisted. This immigration policy is misguided and we will support our fellow artists every step of the way.”

The presidents of the Writers Guild of America issued a statement Sunday blasting Trump. “It is both unconstitutional and deeply wrong to say that you cannot enter our country because of where you were born or what religion you were born into,” said WGA West president Howard Rodman and WGA East president Michael Winship.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus referred to the WGA statement at the SAG Awards on Jan. 29 after receiving a trophy for best actress in a comedy series for her work on “Veep.”

Louis-Dreyfus said, “Our sister guild, the Writers Guild made a statement today that I would like to read because I am in complete agreeance with it. Our guilds are unions of storytellers who have always welcomed those from the nations and of varying beliefs who wish to share their creativity with America. We are grateful for them. We stand with them, and we will fight for them.”

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has already announced that he won’t attend the Academy Awards due to the order, which would likely have banned him from entering the U.S. unless he was given special consideration. Farhadi’s film “The Salesman” is nominated for the foreign-language film Oscar.

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