The former Canadian ambassador for Iran criticizes Ben Affleck for failing to mention Canada in his film, but the director thinks the issue has already been resolved.
Getting closer to the Oscars night, "Argo" once again receives criticism from a political figure. This time around, the Iranian hostage thriller directed by Ben Affleck gets slammed by Ken Taylor, a former Canadian ambassador in Iran.
Taylor was not happy because Affleck failed to credit Canada in his movie. He also said that the Oscar-nominated film made Canada look like a meek observer to CIA heroics in the rescue of six U.S. citizens caught in the Iranian crisis.
"In the movie, Canada and Ottawa didn't exist," he said. "It's a great film, it's great. But at the same time it was a Canadian story that's been, all of sudden, totally taken over by the Americans. Totally."
As quoted by Canada's Leader-Post, Taylor claimed that he was the one who kept the Americans hidden at the embassy in Tehran and facilitated their escape. He later became a hero in his home country and the United States.
"In general it makes it seem like the Canadians were just along for the ride. The Canadians were brave. Period," he stated. He also insisted that "90 per cent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian." He was slightly disappointed because the film "gives almost full credit to the American CIA."
"There would be no movie without the Canadians. We took the six in without being asked so it starts there," he added. "And the fact that we got them out with some help from the CIA then that's where the story loses itself. I think Jimmy Carter has it about right, it was 90 per cent Canada, 10 per cent the CIA."
Taylor, however, still admitted that Affleck was a "good director." He went, "It's got momentum. There's nothing much right from Day 1 I could do about the movie. I changed a line at the end because the caption at the end was disgraceful. It's like Tiananmen Square, you are sitting in front of a big tank."
Responding to Taylor criticism, Affleck claimed that he thought the issue between two of them had already been resolved. "I admire Ken very much for his role in rescuing the six houseguests," the director said. "I consider him a hero. In light of my many conversations as well as a change to an end card that Ken requested I am surprised that Ken continues to take issue with the film."
"I spoke to him recently when he asked me to narrate a documentary he is prominently featured in and yet he didn't mention any lingering concerns. I agreed to do it and I look forward to seeing Ken at the recording," Affleck said in his statement.
"Argo" is up for Best Picture nod at the 85th Academy Awards. Affleck, however, was infamously snubbed from the Best Director category.