Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
Ben Affleck’s historical thriller Argo is a favorite to win Best Picture tonight at the 85th Academy Awards. But with hours to go before the ceremony, former Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor still feels the movie gives Canada short shrift. As Canada’s ambassador to Iran in the late 70s, Taylor was responsible for the embassy’s decision to hide 6 American diplomatic personnel from Iranian authorities after the 1979 revolution, and hid two of the 6 fugitives in his Tehran residence. But after seeing Argo, he was unsettled by the movie’s focus on the efforts of CIA operative Tony Mendes. “In general it makes it seem like the Canadians were just along for the ride,” Taylor told Canada’s CBC network over the weekend. “The Canadians were brave. Period”.
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This isn’t Taylor’s first beef with Argo. When it played the Toronto Film Festival, Taylor’s friends were incensed by a postscript that implied he didn’t quite deserve the citations and awards he received for his efforts. Affleck changed the postscript at Taylor’s request. Now Taylor says Affleck should recognize Canada’s contribution in his acceptance speech should Argo win tonight. “I would hope he would. If he doesn’t then it’s a further reflection,” Taylor said. “But given the events of the last while, I’m not necessarily anticipating anything.” Affleck said in a statement “In light of my many conversations as well as a change to an end card that Ken requested I am surprised that Ken continues to take issue with the film”.