Don’t sweat it, Ben Affleck. We forgive you.

His new film, Argo, may not give Canadians all the credit, but the Hollywood star smooths things over.

by Luiza Ch. Savage

Ben Affleck’s new film, Argo, recounts the joint Canadian-U.S. effort to rescue six American diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis. Yet Affleck, who co-wrote and directed the movie, has been accused of understating the role of the Canadian government and then-Canadian ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor. In an exclusive interview after the movie’s premiere, Taylor told Maclean’s, “We’re portrayed as innkeepers who are waiting to be saved by the CIA.”

By last week any hard feelings appeared to be smoothed over. On Oct. 10, the Canadian Embassy in Washington hosted an elegant reception for Affleck and the cast of Argo—including Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and John Goodman. Ken Taylor and his wife, Pat, also attended, as did several of the U.S diplomats portrayed in the film. It helped that before the movie hit theatres, Affleck had asked Taylor to rewrite the postscript.

After the event, there was a screening of the movie at a downtown theatre. There, Affleck took a moment to address the audience. While noting that the movie tells the story of the rescue through the perspective of CIA agent Tony Mendez, Affleck praised the Canadians for their role. “There were folks who didn’t want to take in our people,” he said. “Governments, some friends of ours said, ‘You know what, this isn’t appropriate for us. We don’t want to absorb this risk.’ But the Canadians did absorb the risk. And when they did, there was a man who was the ambassador whose name was Ken Taylor. And Ken allowed folks to come stay, putting himself at great risk. And his wife also agreed, putting herself at great risk.

“It demonstrates the danger our diplomats put themselves in for our lives every day. We were reminded of that tragically in Benghazi, and this is yet another reminder.”




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Don’t sweat it, Ben Affleck. We forgive you.

  1. Affleck also lied about the British Embassy’s involvement in the escape. How strange you did not think it necessary to mention that in your article

  2. Affleck and his film are beneath contempt.

  3. I saw Argo Oct. 21, 2012 in Seattle. We all clapped for the hero of the movie, Canada, at the end, told from the storyline of the CIA agent. Thank you Canada for helping America in our time of need!

  4. Ben Affleck did a good job, but he doesn’t give a particularly good speech or interview. He rambles, he’s all over the place, even mentioning a Purple Elephant in the same sentence as Michelle Obama. I think the First Lady might have been startled by that comparison (I certainly was). But I’m sure she understood that his mind was scrambled at this point, and took no offense.

  5. Is there really no one willing to tell Ken Taylor that the film and his “heroics” in the film, are most accurate? It would seem that everyone is a liar except Taylor. Tony Mendez is the hero who thought of the plan and carried it through. That is made very clear in his book. Ken Taylor spent many years in the spotlight with no one challenging his version of events where he is the hero who saved the day. Now he is being challenged and looks like a fool for lying for so many years. He never expected the story to be declassified. I would love to see him sit and talk with Tony Mendez about what really happened.

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