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Iranian news censors Michelle Obama’s Oscar gown

Kwala Mandel
Yahoo! Movies Oscars Blog
February 25, 2013

It's no surprise that some in the Middle East were not happy about the movie "Argo," which focuses on the Iranian hostage crisis which lasted from 1979 to 1981. But this is a reaction no one was expecting.

During Sunday's Academy Award's telecast, First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance, handing out the award for Best Picture via satellite from the White House. However, the Iranian news agency Fars not only took exception to the honors bestowed on Ben Affleck's film, which won the night's biggest award, they offered a less-than-subtle critique of the First Lady's dress.

Since Mrs. Obama's gown exposed her shoulders in a way that would violate the codes of modesty enforced in many Muslim nations, Fars photoshopped a picture of the First Lady, with the result offering significantly more coverage of her shoulders and chest. The digital alteration was discovered by photojournalist and blogger Golnaz Esfandiari.

Fars didn't stop with altering Mrs. Obama's gown. The news agency also slammed "Argo" as an "anti-Iran film … produced by the Zionist company Warner Bros." Iran's state own television network also gave the film a thumbs-down, calling it "an advertisement for the CIA."

A report by The London Times pointed out that "Argo" has been banned in Iran, but bootleggers have been selling DVD copies though underground networks, fetching roughly a dollar apiece for the movie.

After this, don't expect Fars to be invited to do red carpet coverage of the Oscars in 2014.

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