United Talent Agency has canceled its annual Academy Awards shindig and will use its $250k budget by donating it to charity rather than host a star-studded event. In the face of Donald Trump’s divisive immigrant ban, money will instead go to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee. The UTA said that this donation is “…to express the creative community’s growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States.”
The canceled event two days before the Oscars will be used instead to combat the “potential chilling effect on the global exchange of ideas and freedom of expression.
According to Variety: “Trump’s travel ban hit close to UTA, according to a statement, because the firm represents Academy Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi. Though nominated for another Oscar this year in the best foreign-language film category for “The Salesman,” Farhadi is skipping the awards ceremony on Feb. 26 to protest the “unjust” Trump ban.”