Iranian Fars News Agency has digitally altered an image of Michelle Obama announcing the Oscar for Best Picture last night, in order to make her dress appear more modest.
The State-controlled Fars News Agency added a high neckline and cap sleeves to the silver Naeem Khan gown worn by Michelle Obama, who from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, remotely presented the award to Ben Affleck for his film Argo.
Michelle Obama’s image was Photoshopped in order that the garment would be in keeping with the country’s Islamic dress codes that require women not to expose too much skin.
Pre-Photoshop, one can see that the dress actually has a low neckline that stops short of exposing any cleavage, though it does show décolletage.
Instead of sleeves are inch-thick straps, exposing those toned shoulders and arms for which Michelle Obama, 49, is so well-known.
Accepting the Best Picture award last night, Ben Affleck said: “I thank you everyone in the movie, on the movie, worked on the movie, did anything with this movie gets thanked.
“I want to thank Canada. I want to thank our friends in Iran living in terrible circumstances right now.”
Argo is a dramatization of the real-life experience of CIA operative Tony Mendez, who led the rescue of six US diplomats from Tehran, during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
The film relates how Tony Mendez used a fake sci-fi movie as a cover to help the diplomats escape the country.
Iranian State television, however, dismissed the star’s Oscar-winning film today as an “advertisement for the CIA”.
The semiofficial Mehr news agency called the Academy Award “politically motivated” because Michelle Obama had joined Jack Nicholson via video link to help present the best picture prize.
And Mohammed Hosseini, Iran’s Culture Minister, said that Argo “distorted history” for propaganda purposes.
Argo has been banned from Iranian cinemas, but on the streets of Tehran there is a healthy trade in bootlegged copies, with DVDs selling for less than a dollar each.