Riz Ahmed, star of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” said he missed a Star Wars Celebration convention in April after he was allegedly racially profiled by airport authorities in Chicago.
At the CAA Amplify conference in Ojai on Tuesday, the 36-year-old actor recalled the incident in which he was swabbed for explosives and questioned extensively at an airport, Variety
Ahmed, who also recently starred in “Venom,” claimed it was not an isolated incident as he has been subjected to secondary searches at airport screenings multiple times in the past.
“With all my privilege and profile, I often wonder if this is going to be the year they round us up, if this is the year they’re going to put Trump’s Muslim registry into action, if this is going to be the year they ship us all off,” he was quoted as saying.
Ahmed further lamented the plight of other Muslims in the U.S. despite the recent success of other high-profile Muslim stars.
“Hasan Minhaj could win a Peabody, I could win an Emmy, Ibtihaj Muhammad could win the Olympics, but some of these obstacles are systemic, and we can’t really face them alone,” he noted. “We need your help. I’m basically here to ask for your help. Because it’s really scary to be a Muslim right now. Super scary.”
Ahmed proceeded to seek help from Hollywood executives to be more conscious of how Muslims are portrayed in their films and TV shows.
“The efforts of individual artists or storytellers may be bold, they may be progressive, they may act as beacons of hope for other people, but in the face of institutional prejudice and institutionalized obstacles, systemic obstacles, our efforts can sometimes still fall flat,” he added. “I think lives are quite literally at stake here. The representation of Muslims on screen — that feeds the policies that get enacted, the people that get killed, the countries that get invaded.”