Seven of 20 actors nominated for an Academy Award are not white, compared to previous years which had no representation.
The Iranian star of the Oscar-nominated film The Salesman said on Thursday that she would boycott the awards in protest at President Donald Trump’s “racist” ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority nations.
“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest,” tweeted Taraneh Alidoosti, the film’s 33-year-old leading actress.
Trump is reportedly poised to stop visas for travellers from seven Muslim countries, including Iran, for 30 days.
He told ABC News on Wednesday that his plan was not a “Muslim ban”, but targeted countries that “have tremendous terror”.
The Salesman, directed by acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, is nominated for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards, which take place next month.
Farhadi won an Oscar in 2012 for his film A Separation.
Visa applications from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen are all expected to be stopped for a month under a draft executive order published in the Washington Post and New York Times.
The draft order seeks to suspend the US refugee programme for four months as officials draw up a list of low risk countries.
The Oscars are due to take place on February 26.