Iranian celebrities, anything for International recognition
WANA (Mar 05) – In an age where social media is the main source of information for people everywhere in the world, celebrities and influencers have received a wide platform to perform on.
While some use this platform to spread positivity others become a tool of capitalism. Many countries have ratified guidelines and laws to prevent these celebrities of taking advantage of their fame, holding them liable when misleading people who look up to them.
Iran like everywhere else has a number of these celebrities and influencers that use any means to be seen and raise their fame. However, in Iran things work differently. As the Islamic Republic has been a constant target for western media since its formation 44 years ago, the rise to fame outside its borders have several conditions.
The key to support these personalities abroad is for them to stand against their country and everything it represents.
Director and screen-writer, Behrouz Afkhami said in an interview that movies have been turned down for International movie festivals over “scenes showing beautiful streets in Tehran”. He said they were asked to cut those scenes to gain entry in festivals.
Iranian artists and personalities have realized this western agenda and comply with it in their work over hopes of winning renown prizes to be seen. With the experience of Asghar Farhadi and others, these celebrities know that if they do what is asked of them, they will win, and most importantly: will be seen Internationally.
The most recent being Cannes best actress award given to Zar Amir Ebrahimi for her role in a movie called “the holy spider”, which is a movie flagrantly insulting religion in Iran which plays a major role in the nation’s identity. Critics however, where surprised by this as the acting held nothing commendable aside from the anti-Iran nature of the movie.
In the recent protests in Iran which started in September over the death a young girl named Mahsa Amini, a widespread encouragement of Iranian celebrities was seen.
The statements made by each prominent figure in support for these protests was covered by several western news agencies, emboldened and sometimes exaggerated. Iranian authorities have also said these personalities have had a “steering role” in fanning unrest and tensions in the country.
These actions may have risen these celebrities’ name in International and mainstream media across the world, but their popularity has dropped inside the country. Iranians are not very forgiving when it comes to betrayal towards their country. calling them “traitor to one’s country” – “vatan foroush” in Farsi – the nation is not a fan their opportunist behavior for more fame.
Paradoxical behavior from these celebrities has also caused a sharp fall in their popularity and respect among Iranians. For example, after posting consistently about the recent protests and “violence” in the streets by many actors and actresses such as Taraneh Alidoosti and Hediye Tehrani, as well as football players and other artists, there was complete silence over the Shah-Cheragh terrorist attack in Shiraz.
This behavior, being completely in line with western media’s political agenda and the hybrid war against the Islamic republic, enraged the public who asked “where the people killed in that attack not Iranian?”.
This has resulted in general skepticism towards celebrities among Iranians. After the earthquake in the Northwestern city of Khoy, any presence of celebrities at the scene was seen as another attempt to use people’s misery for fame. The insincere actions of these figures along with fueling tensions every time the country is facing a crisis of any sort, has shown their true colors to Iranians. People have realized the last thing these celebrities care about are the “people’s welfare”.
However, as the Iranian Javan newspaper has described: these said celebrities are neither ready to pay the price for their silence for fear of losing recognition, nor are they ready to accompany protesters for fear of losing their jobs.