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article imageIran Bans Celebrities, Writers From State TV, Radio

By Johnny Simpson     Aug 13, 2009 in World
In response to the many artists, writers, celebrities, filmmakers and politicos who actively supported Mousavi and the Green Revolution, the Ahmadinejad regime has created a blacklist of Iranians who will no longer be welcome on Iran state TV or radio.
In "Iran Bans Celebrities from TV, Radio Over Politics," reports that Iran has banned dozens of the country’s celebrities from state-run television and radio due to their support for opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This news was first taken from the opposition website Mowj yesterday.
Bloomberg added: "Iran’s broadcaster has compiled a list of 100 well-known Iranians, including top filmmakers and actresses, who are forbidden from the state’s airwaves, Mowj said. They are banned from 'having their picture shown” or “being active in programs related to the state broadcaster until further notice,' Mowj said."
And so the political backlash from the Green Revolution begins in earnest in Iran's entertainment industry. Among those banned are filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui and the Paris-based director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, both of whom actively campaigned for reform presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. Director Makhmalbaf was Mousavi's spokesman during the Green protests following the disputed June 12th elections, in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the victor under questionable circumstances.
Many famous Iranian actors and actresses have also made the blacklist, including Fatemeh Motamed-Aria, Leyli Rashidi, Bahareh Rahnama and Pegah Ahangarani. Ms. Ahangarani, who is in her 20s, famously addressed an audience of thousands in a stadium outside Tehran in a May rally, where she declared "“I do not want to spend the best years of my life under Ahmadinejad."
The Iranian regime, through The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, already tightly controls standards and materials in Iranian film and TV, including women's dress and hot-button political, social and religious issues. Heavy censorship is the norm. Similar politically-motivated bans on personnel in Iranian film, TV and radio have been on the rise since Ahamadinejad first took office in 2005.
Hints of a backlash against entertainment industry professionals who backed Mousavi, filmmakers in particular, were hinted at back in mid-June by documentarian James Longley, a former member of the visiting Team Hollywood in March, who remained in Iran to film a documentary on the elections and found himself caught up in history. Mr. Longley was directed at that time by the German backers of his project to flee Iran before the film footage was seized or lost. Prior to leaving Iran in mid-June, Mr. Longley was caught up in the protests and briefly detained by authorities. His Iranian translator was severely beaten.
More about Iran, Radio, Green revolution, Mousavi, Ahmadinejad
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