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Former Canadian ambassador says ‘Argo’ includes a lot of fiction

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Argo” is a very entertaining film, and for that it was awarded the Academy Award for best picture. But the movie directed by Ben Affleck is not truthful, says former Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor, who was in town this week delivering a speech to the New England-Canada Business Council. We chatted with Taylor after his talk at the Harvard Club, and his irritation with “Argo” was apparent. “Canada was the lead player but the movie has it as the CIA,” said Taylor, who’s played by actor Victor Garber in the film. “The story could have been made compelling without exaggeration or giving all the credit to the CIA.” In the movie, the Canadian government is given credit for sheltering a group of six Americans who escaped from the US Embassy in Tehran. What it doesn’t get credit for, says Taylor, is scouting the Iran airport before the exfiltration and paying cash for the Americans’ plane tickets weeks before their dramatic departure. Taylor told us he shared his concerns with Affleck after seeing the movie, and the director’s response was, um, diplomatic. “He said he didn’t mean to understate Canada’s role, and had been handed a script,” said Taylor. . . . Meanwhile, NBC announced Friday that Affleck will host “Saturday Night Live” May 18, the finale of the late-night show’s 38th season. It will be the fifth time Affleck has hosted “SNL.”

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