Affleck changes 'Argo' postscript after complaints
TORONTO (WHDH) -- Ben Affleck has made a diplomatic move with his new film “Argo.” He's agreed to a change after Canadian complaints that the movie downplayed Canada's role in the Iran hostage crisis.
“This movie to me, ‘Argo’ is, ‘thank you Canada,’ you’ll see why, about our gratitude when the Canadian’s helped us escape to get our people out of Tehran. So thank you,” Affleck said.
At the world premiere for “Argo” in Toronto director Ben Affleck couldn't say enough about the role Canadians played during the Iran hostage crisis
But when audiences got their first glimpse what they saw was American CIA agent Tony Mendez as the hero.
To make matters worse, “Argo” ends with a postscript implying Canadians took credit for the rescue before the CIA's role was revealed.
“So when Hollywood stumbles in, this I guess well-intentioned piece of entertainment ‘based on a true story’ and they trample over a legend like Ken Taylor and they launch it at the Toronto International Film Festival and they’re completely blindsided by the response. What do they think, that nobody’s going to notice?” said Brian Johnson, MacLean’s Magazine.
The former Canadian ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor, wasn't invited to the premiere but soon heard from friends how his role was minimized. Then he received a phone call.
“’Hello ambassador, it’s Ben Affleck,’ and I said, ‘well Ben, what’s happening in Hollywood?’ and he said, ‘well, we’ve had a very good time in Toronto, but I understand that you and your Canadian friends and Canadians in general have some issues with the movie,” said Ken Taylor, former Canadian ambassador to Iran.
With reshoots out of the question, Affleck agreed to change the postscript.
The new version drafted by Taylor stresses the CIA complemented Canadian efforts; a diplomatic solution for a film with Oscar potential.