Riz announced fellowships for Muslim storytellers
Celebrities are lauding British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed for his initiative to improve Muslim representation in Hollywood films.
“Get ready for you to be called tablighi (missionary) and what not,” Feroze Khan said. “But don’t stop, bro, proud.”
Last week, Riz announced $25,000 fellowships for Muslim filmmakers and said that Muslims are either invisible in Hollywood films or villains. Riz has collaborated with Pillars Fund, USC Annenberg, and Ford Foundation.
“So proud of you, Riz, for exposing how Muslims are missing and stereotyped in top movies,” British singer Dua Lipa said. “It’s time for the film industry to change.”
Only 1.65% of 8,965 speaking characters were played by Muslims between 2017 and 2019, according to the study. Muslim women have a very low representation, with the ratio of male characters to female being 175 to 1.
Of 200 films, 181 had no Muslim characters at all.
A negative and violent depiction of Muslims has been prevalent in Hollywood. About one-third of Muslim characters are violent, and more than half are victims of violence. Only one Muslim character was found to be with a disability.
Riz Ahmed is the first Muslim actor to have won a lead actor Oscar nomination for his performance in Sound of Metal.