TORONTO— Canada’s former ambassador to Iran, who protected Americans at great personal risk during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979, said Friday if “Argo” wins the Oscar for best picture on Sunday there would be something wrong with director Ben Affleck if he didn’t mention Canada.
Ken Taylor said he continues to feel slighted by a movie that he says makes Canada look like a meek observer to CIA heroics in the rescue of six U.S. citizens caught in the crisis. He said there would be no movie if the Canadian embassy didn’t take in the Americans.
Taylor said if Affleck doesn’t say something in his acceptance speech “then it’s a further reflection” on him.
“I would hope he would,” Taylor said. “But given the events of the last while I’m not necessarily anticipating anything.”
Affleck’s CIA thriller “Argo” is widely expected to win the best-picture trophy on Sunday.
“In general it makes it seem like the Canadians were just along for the ride. The Canadians were brave. Period,” he said.
Taylor noted that Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter appeared on CNN on Thursday night and said “90 percent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian,” but the film “gives almost full credit to the American CIA.”
“We took the six in without being asked so it starts there,” Taylor said. “And the fact that we got them out with some help from the CIA then that’s where the story loses itself. I think Jimmy Carter has it about right, it was 90 percent Canada, 10 percent the CIA.”