Feb 15, 2013

By Scott Walker

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The man hailed as a hero for rescuing American embassy staff during the Iran hostage incident in 1979 says the film version of the crisis made great use of dramatic license.

Former Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor was characteristically diplomatic last night during a talk with Ryerson University students.

He said Argo was great in terms of sheer entertainment. But he took issue with a myriad of creative liberties that included the “black and white” portrayal of Iranian people, fabricated scenes and the suggestion he was little more than a meek observer to CIA heroics.

He also says the writer of the script for Argo really had no idea what he was talking about.

The 1979 crisis made a hero out of Taylor, who helped shelter several Americans who escaped the storming of the U-S embassy until they could be whisked out of Iran. When Argo screened at the Interational Film Festival, Taylor wasn’t even invited. But a meeting was arranged later between him and Argo director and star Ben Affleck. As a result of that meeting, Affleck changed a postscript on the film to admit Taylor and Canada played a much bigger role in the actual crisis.

Taylor says an upcoming documentary will present a more balanced picture of his role and the situation in Iran.


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