The United Talent Agency has announced that they will cancel their annual Oscar Party in protest of Donald Trump’s immigration ban. In place of their usual party, UTA will host a rally in support of refugees and will donate $250,000 American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee.
Donald Trump’s immigration ban prevents immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Donald Trump wrote this immigration ban in order to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists.” The seven countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. The ban is in effect for at least the next 90 days but has received a lot of heat in the press on whether or not Donald Trump’s executive order is legal.
The United Talent Agency is a talent and literary agency offices in major cities across the globe. Their Los Angeles office hosts an annual Oscar party on the Friday night before the Oscars. The party is held for clients and popular names in the acting world. United Talent Agency’s list of clients include Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Barbra Streisand, and Benedict Cumberbatch, to name a few.
UTA’s response to Donald Trump’s immigration ban comes at a pressing time. The Oscars, a popular broadcast event around the world, averages around 36.6 million at-home viewers. Recent viewership has been in decline over the last few years, however, the 2014 Oscar Academy Award show reached almost 44 million viewers. Donald Trump’s immigration ban is certainly not popular among Hollywood, with the majority of A-list celebrities not supportive of Donald Trump or the new administration as a whole.
Donald Trump’s primary concern is the safety of the American people. According to the New York Times, in response to the immigration ban, Donald Trump has stated, “We don’t want them here. We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people.”
On the opposing side, critics state that Donald Trump’s immigration ban is not only targeted solely against Muslims and innocent refugees, but is illegal. According to The Hollywood Reporter, UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer is quoted telling his staff, “This is a moment that demands our generosity, awareness and restlessness. Our world is a better place for the free exchange of artists, ideas and creative expression. If our nation ceases to be the place where artists the world over can come to express themselves freely, then we cease, in my opinion, to be America.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, one of the organizations that the United Talent Agency will donate their money to, is extremely active in pushing against Donald Trump’s immigration ban. ACLU’s main mission is to preserve the Constitutional liberties promised to United States citizens.
Donald Trump’s immigration ban targets travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, and many travelers from these countries trying to come into the United States are fearful of being held in airports for extended periods of time, being sent home, or even arrested.
This travel ban is not just affecting those outside our country; it is personal, and front-and-center of everyday life with many American citizens. Los Angeles Times‘ writer Lorraine Ali was worried about his nephew being able to make it back safely to the U.S. after leaving to renew his visa. Thankfully, he did.
UTA’s refugee rally will be held on February 24, just two days before the Oscar ceremony. With this bold decision, UTA may have just set the framework for other popular annual Oscar parties. No news yet on whether or not Donald Trump’s immigration ban will be upheld in court.
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