Pakistani Actor Riz Ahmed Slams Hollywood for Producing Racist Movies

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Riz Ahmad

Riz Ahmed is a Pakistani actor who was once nominated for Oscar. Most recently the actor came out in the middle to slam Hollywood for all the toxic and stereotypical of Muslim community in their films.

Ahmed happens to be the first Muslim actor who managed to get the Oscar nomination in the category of the best actor.

But now, it looks like he has taken an initiative to take this forward. Through one of his videos, he has slammed Hollywood for misrepresentation his community in films.

The initiative was actually launched with many others like Pillars Fund, the Ford Foundation along with the USC Annenberg Inclusion.

On June 11, 2021, Ahmed posted a video on YouTube where he raised the issue of Muslim representation. He stated that the issue of Muslim representation can’t be ignored any longer. The British-Pakistani actor further stated that it was an awkward moment for him when he was nominated for Oscar for his awesome performance in a film titled “Sound of Metal“.

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Take a look at what he stated in his video, “I asked myself, if I’m the exception to the rule, what must the rule be about people like me? What must the unwritten rule be about Muslims – a quarter of the world’s population – and their place in our stories, our culture and their place in our society, if any?” Ahmed said. The actor asserted that the problematic portrayal of Muslims in cinema is something that cannot be fixed by a “handful of prominent Muslims in the business”.

He further stated, “The progress that’s being made by a few of us doesn’t paint an overall picture of progress if most of the portrayals of Muslims on screen are either nonexistent or entrenched in those stereotypical, toxic, two-dimensional portrayals,” Ahmad said.

Ahmad had earlier listed some movies like “Argo”, “The Hurt Locker” and “American Sniper” that are full of racism.

This is what Ahmad has to say while pointing out the above movies, “(These) films dehumanize and demonize Muslim characters, insofar as they are the perpetrators or victims of violence, unworthy of empathy or incapable of empathy,” he said in the video.

Apart from movies, he also slammed one web series from Amazon titled “The Boys”. See below what he has to say about the series.

“(It is) a show that I loved and binged. A very self-aware, modern kip show. One with a gigantic cast, multi-racial multi-species… (But) I can’t tell you how gutted I was when halfway through that show Muslim’s turn up, the first and only time, to hijack a plane. “Oh actually, they turn up another time in the first series, to play super villains whose super power is to suicide bomb people,” the actor said.

The actor then said he had never expected such a thing to happen with any other minority group.

“Even a film like ‘Black Panther‘, one of the most woke progressive mainstream moments in our culture in recent years. And Muslims turn up in the start of that film as terrorists to kidnap school girls and then disappear,” Ahmad added in his video.

A study conducted by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on the issue of the inclusion of Muslims in Hollywood films, it revealed that they rarely appear on screen. The study further found that close to 1.5% of characters shown in Hollywood films were Muslims.

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