Introduced by Hollywood veteran Jack Nicholson, Mrs. Obama went on to announce the winner of the most prestigious Academy Award of the night, Best Picture.
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So how did it happen that the First Lady of the United States presented (albeit via satellite from The White House in Washington, D.C.) an award at the 2013 Oscars? And furthermore, did anyone see what happened to her dress on the news in Iran?
Firstly, Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein (who is co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, the studio behind this years' Silver Linings Playbook) and his daughter Lily reportedly had a hand in involving Michelle Obama in the final presentation at the Oscars.According to The Hollywood Reporter, the execution was more top-secret than the on-screen plot in "Argo." Weinstein and his daughter hatched the plan with Oscar producers, who in turn took a secret flight to D.C. to figure out the logistics. Two envelopes were prepared, with Jack Nicholson having a backup on stage at the Dolby Theatre in case the satellite feed went down.
In a statement after the telecast, the White House offered a little insight into the first lady's acceptance, saying: "The Academy Awards approached the first lady about being a part of the ceremony. As a movie lover, she was honoured to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all – especially our young people – with their passion, skill and imagination."If you're wondering what went down with the first lady's dress on the news in Iran (we get it, not everyone gets the news in Iran), it was a little something like this.
Firstly, 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. During the presentation of the Best Picture Oscar (which went to "Argo",) the Iranian news agency Fars not only took exception to the honours bestowed on Ben Affleck's film, they offered a less-than-subtle critique of the First Lady's dress.
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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.
We're pretty sure that Fars won't be receiving media accreditation to next year's Oscars.