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Riz Ahmed says Hollywood under-represents and toxically portrays Muslims. But he isn’t telling the whole truth

15 10 0
13.06.2021

Riz Ahmed, the first Muslim to be nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, is spearheading an initiative to increase the visibility of Muslims in film and eradicate toxic stereotypes in Muslim characters.

As evidenced by his stellar work in, among others, the films ‘Nightcrawler’ and ‘The Sisters Brothers’, the mini-series ‘The Night Of’, and his Oscar-nominated portrayal in ‘Sound of Metal’, Ahmed is one of the finest actors around, and he seems to be a very thoughtful artist and man.

Unfortunately, on reading ‘Missing and Maligned’, the study by Ahmed’s Left Handed Films and USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, it becomes apparent that his noble venture is a deeply disingenuous one.

The study obviously started with its conclusion, that Muslims are under-represented in film, and then intentionally limited its investigation and cherry-picked its evidence to make it appear that its preconception was accurate.

The fatally flawed study focuses only on the top-200 grossing films from 2017 to 2019 in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. It also fails to look at those on any streaming service, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, which are among the biggest producers and distributors, and didn’t examine representation in TV shows.

Its disingenuousness is clear when it declares that Muslims make up 24% of the world’s population, but represent only 1.6% of speaking characters in films. This is a deceptive statistic, as the Muslim........

© RT.com


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