Riz Ahmed is opening up about his experiences with discrimination — including a time when he says Homeland Security blocked him from boarding a plane on his way to a “Star Wars” convention in Chicago.
Ahmed, who is of Pakistani descent, said that due to his race he’s typically stopped and searched at airports. He said airport security guards have swabbed him for explosives, then requested selfies or start rapping his lyrics.
“The Night Of” actor made the comments during diversity leadership event Amplify in California hosted by the CAA Foundation and the Ford Foundation, per the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
USA TODAY has reached out to Ahmed’s reps and the Department of Homeland Security for comment.
He also talked about the importance of improving Muslim representation.
While onstage with comedian Hasan Minhaj, Ahmed pointed to him and said “He can win a Peabody; I can win an Emmy; Ibtihaj Muhammad can go to the Olympics, but some of these obstacles are systemic and we can’t really face them alone, 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. I’ve often wondered, is this going to be the year when they round us up, if this is going to be the year they put Trump’s registry into action. If this is going to be the year they ship us all off.”
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