Iranian celebrities, anything for International recognition
WANA (Mar 05) – In an age where social media is the primary source of information for people everywhere in the world, celebrities and influencers have received a comprehensive 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 from taking advantage of their fame, holding them liable when misleading people who look up to them.
Like everywhere else, Iran has several 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 has several conditions.
The key to supporting these personalities abroad is for them to stand against their country and everything it represents.
Director and screenwriter Behrouz Afkhami said in an interview that movies had 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 into festivals.
Iranian artists and personalities have realized this Western agenda and complied with it in their work, hoping to win renowned 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, be seen Internationally.
The most recent is Cannes best actress award given to Zar Amir Ebrahimi for her role in a movie called “the holy spider,” which is a movie flagrantly insults religion in Iran, which plays a significant role in the nation’s identity. Critics, however, were 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 of a young girl named Mahsa Amini, Iranian celebrities received widespread encouragement.
Several Western news agencies covered the statements made by each prominent figure supporting these protests, encouraged 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 raised these celebrities’ names in International and mainstream media worldwide, but their popularity has dropped inside the country. Iranians are not very forgiving when it comes to the betrayal of their country. Calling them “traitor to one’s country” – “Vatan Foroush” in Farsi – the nation is not a fan of 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 consistently posting about the recent protests and “violence” in the streets by many actors and actresses such as Taraneh Alidoosti and Hediye Tehrani, football players, and other artists, there was complete silence over the Shah-Cheragh terrorist attack in Shiraz.
This behavior, entirely in line with Western media’s political agenda and the hybrid war against the Islamic Republic, enraged the public, who asked, “Were 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 stars 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 faces a crisis of any sort, have shown their true colors to Iranians. People have realized the last thing these celebrities care about is 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 prepared to accompany protesters for fear of losing their jobs.