Canada ambassador says he feels slighted by "Argo"

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm •  Published: February 22, 2013
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TORONTO (AP) — 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 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. 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."

Taylor kept the Americans hidden at the embassy in Tehran and facilitated the escape by getting passports and plane tickets for them. He became a hero in Canada and the United States after.

Affleck's CIA thriller "Argo" is widely expected to win the best-picture trophy on Sunday. Two other high-profile best-picture nominees this year, Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" and Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," have also been criticized for their portrayal of some factual issues.

"In general it makes it seem like the Canadians were just along for the ride. The Canadians were brave. Period," Taylor said.

Affleck said he thought his issue with Taylor had been resolved.

"I admire Ken very much for his role in rescuing the six houseguests. I consider him a hero. 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," he said in a statement. "I spoke to him recently when he asked me to narrate a documentary he is prominently featured in and yet he didn't mention any lingering concerns. I agreed to do it and I look forward to seeing Ken at the recording."

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."

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