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Jimmy Carter Says ‘Argo’ Is Inaccurate, Should Win An Oscar [Video]

Jimmy Carter on Argo

The political thriller Argo is mopping up an impressive number of awards and critical acclaim, but what does the former president, in office during the Iran hostage crisis that the film is based on, think of it?

Jimmy Carter sat down with Piers Morgan on CNN to discuss Argo and the Iran hostage crisis. Morgan wanted to get Carter’s perspective on the film’s depiction of events that partially defined his presidency, specifically asking whether or not Carter considers the film an accurate portrayal.

Carter began by gushing on Argo, saying that it was “a great drama” and noting “I hope it wins the award for best film,” but then said that he considered the film to be inaccurate, and that Canada deserves more credit for the events depicted in the film.

He said that “90 percent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian,” even though Argo is a CIA drama. Carter continued: “the main hero, in my opinion, was Ken Taylor [portrayed in Argo by Victor Garber], who was the Canadian ambassador who orchestrated the entire process.”

Carter isn’t alone in this opinion. A review in Macleans noted that “the movie rewrites history at Canada’s expense, making Hollywood and the CIA the saga’s heroic saviours while Taylor is demoted to a kindly concierge.”

The real Ken Taylor also chimed in on the issue, but didn’t seem as perturbed by Canada’s second-fiddle role in Argo as others (despite his real-life central role during the crisis). “In reality, Canada was responsible for the six and the CIA was a junior partner. But I realize this is a movie and you have to keep the audience on the edge of their seats,” he said.

Here’s Jimmy Carter sort-of giving Argo the best picture nod:

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9 Responses to “Jimmy Carter Says ‘Argo’ Is Inaccurate, Should Win An Oscar [Video]”

  1. Christopher Robin

    I directed the documentary "Escape From Iran – The Hollywood Option”, which is to be included in the Blue Ray release of Argo. I had the good fortune to interview most all players in this incredible story over a decade ago; this includes all 6 of the American hostages, senior US state department officials, the CIA’s Antonio Mendez, and all senior players on the Canadian side of the story. What few people realize is once the American’s escaped, they attempted refuge at several other allied embassy’s and were turned away; when they finally got in contact with the Canadian Embassy, the staff said, “Where the hell are you and why did you not contact us sooner.”.
    From that moment on without question Ken Taylor’s team, and the Canadian government assisted the Americans as if they were family. I agree with President Carter’s assessment that Canada was more heavily involved than Affleck’s Argo leads viewers to believe. However, Carter’s assessment …“90% of the contributions to the ideas and consummation of the plan was Canadian” is perhaps high. Let’s not forget, it was Hollywood make up artist Bob Sidell and Mendez that came up with and executed the fake movie studio idea ‘with support by the Canadians’, but it was Sidell and Mendez’s idea. Not withstanding this is the most successfully Canadian/American collaboration of all time and highlights how allied countries should support each other in any time of crisis.

  2. Dasani Met

    CR, I agree with Jimmy Carter. Did you notice how the fake movie concoction did not matter? What kept them alive is a place to hide out and fake passports to show they were not Americans. All the memorization of their role in a fake movie was useless after all (maybe that's why I didn't think the movie was great). And the ending of the movie was so fake. I don't believe for a second that they took them to a room and they were grilled about their purpose of visit in Iran while an official called Hollywood to double-check and their plane waits. Maybe they were asked what they were doing in Iran, but the grilling at the end was not at all believable. What mattered was they had a place to hide out while the embassy and their fellow workers were captured so I understand Jimmy's point that it was mostly Canadian efforts that got them out of them alive.

  3. Andy Myers

    Christopher, I appreciate your commentary. Spot on. Let's not split hairs over the 'accuracy' of this film, it is a drama and not a documentary. There is plenty of praise to go around and this American is glad that we can rely on our Canadian neighbors.