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11 Jun

Riz Ahmed launches initiative to change Muslim representation in world cinema

Riz Ahmed

Oscar-nominee and Emmy Award winner, Riz Ahmed, is well-known for his activism as much as his projects like Sound of Metal and The Night Of. However, the actor and rapper has taken the fight against discrimination one step ahead, by launching an initiative for Muslim representation in films.

The actor took to Twitter on 10th June and made an announcement that he will be launching something big in partnership with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the Ford Foundation and Pillars Fund.

Later, he announced that in light of USC Annenberg’s new study on Muslim representation in media — which found that less than 10% of top grossing films from 2017-2019 had a Muslim character on screen, with less than 2% of those characters having speaking roles — the coalition has created the Blueprint for Muslim Inclusion, as well as the Pillars Artist Fellowship, offering selected grantees an unrestricted award of $25,000.

The fellowship’s advisory board includes Muslim artists, namely Riz Ahmed, Mahershala Ali, Ramy Youssef, Lena Khan, Sana Amanat, Karim Amer, Rosa Attab, Nida Manzoor, Jehane Noujaim and Hasan Minhaj.



“These stats are crazy. When it comes to #MuslimsInFilm we are either invisible or villains. So we assembled the #MuslimAvengers to try fix this. Will the industry now step up?” he tweeted.



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A post shared by Riz Ahmed (@rizahmed)


“I’m fed up of seeing Muslim characters on screen either negative or non existent. The industry must change. Our new study proves what many of us always felt about #MuslimsInFilm. The cost is measured in hate & lost lives,” he wrote and embedded a 13-minute video with the tweet that can be viewed on his YouTube channel.




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