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.”