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US porn star Whitney Wright causes uproar after visit to Iran

US porn star Whitney Wright causes uproar after visit to Iran
US porn star Whitney Wright causes uproar after visit to Iran Copyright AP - Instagram
Copyright AP - Instagram
By David MouriquandMassoud Salari
Published on Updated
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US-based activist Masih Alinejad, who faced assassination attempts by Iran, condemned Wright for making the trip and for alleged remarks where the actress said "if you respect the law, you will be safe in Iran".

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US porn star Whitney Wright has caused controversy by travelling to Iran and filming herself at various places, including the Golestan Palace and the former US embassy in Tehran, which has been turned into an anti-American museum.

Her actions have sparked anger on Iranian social media.

The pro-Palestinian performer, whose real name is Brittni Rayne Whittington, shared several photos of herself wearing a hijab during her trip to Tehran.

She said she "HAD to visit" the embassy where Iranian students held staff members hostage for 444 days after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Her photos were deleted following widespread reactions and protests from Iranians.

She closed the comments, writing: "Comments are closed because posting photos of my trip to Iran does not mean approval of the government."

In one of these photos, Whitney Wright was seen next to the US flag at the former US embassy in Tehran, which she described as a "spy nest" in the context of the Islamic Republic's official literature.

The photos, which circulated on X, Facebook, and Instagram, sparked a wide range of reactions. Some Western commentators, recalling the actress' "anti-Semitic" views, speculated that her visit to Iran might be a strategic move to gain financial support for her stance against Israel.

She filmed herself throughout the Iranian capital despite her work in pornography, which put her at risk of criminal charges that carry the death penalty.

Posting on her Instagram story on Monday (5 February), the adult actress said she doesn't know "half of what is being said here, but I'm no longer in Iran, but elsewhere".

Official authorities in Iran did not respond to Wright's visit, but Iranian opposition media outlets criticised the act of allowing the actress to enter Iran as a "clear double standard".

Under Iranian law, making pornography is illegal and can carry the death penalty.

While the government allows the entry of a foreign porn actress, it continues to suppress Iranian women under the pretext of violating the compulsory hijab law. It has even issued death sentences to those who have been involved in creating or distributing pornographic content.

US citizens also require a visa to visit the country, and it is unclear how the actress obtained one.

US-based activist Masih Alinejad, who faced assassination attempts by Iran, condemned Wright for making the trip and for alleged remarks where the actress said "if you respect the law, you will be safe in Iran".

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She wrote on X: "American porn star Whitney Wright is in Iran, my birth country, where women are killed for simply showing their hair and being true to themselves."

The post continued: "Whitney has published several photos on herself completely covered up on Instagram. On her post she called me a warmonger and tells women: “If you respect the law, you will be safe in Iran.”"

"Iranian women don’t want to obey a discriminatory law. Rosa Parks stood up against racist laws in America and became a symbol of resistance. We the women of Iran want be like Rosa Parks and not Whitney Wright."

She concluded: "And by the way, the true warmongers are the agents of the Islamic Republic who will execute you if you be true to yourself."

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Wright’s visit comes in the wake of Iran imprisoning Nobel Peace Prize laureate and women's rights activist Narges Mohammadi, as well as the country's mandatory headscarf law and nationwide protests over the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini two years ago.

Social media users stated that Mahsa Amini was killed because she did not wear the hijab "properly" while "Islamic preachers" allowed the porn actress to enter, arguing that the approval was given because Wright is a supporter of the "Palestinian cause". 

Meanwhile, in a rare move by the Islamic Republic of Iran Radio and Television, Iran's Horizon TV invited an analyst from Portugal as a guest on its programme, who was not wearing a headscarf. Opponents said that allowing her to appear like this was because she is an opponent of Israel.

In the past, some people close to the Iranian government have publicly supported the anti-Israel positions of Lebanese porn star Mia Khalifa.

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Some believe that during this period, Iran is trying to show some sort of tolerance as elections approach. In recent weeks, there have even been talks of the possible return of popular Iranian pop singer Moeen, who lives in Los Angeles.

Many Iranian singers were forced to leave Iran immediately after the 1979 revolution because they faced harassment and ideological differences under the new Islamic regime.

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