In the latest James Bond film, Rami Malek refused to play an Arabic-speaking terrorist, as he was offered the role of a villain.
In an article for the Independent, it was said that Malek's "character wouldn’t be an Arabic-speaking terrorist or a villain who uses religion as a justification for his crimes," as assured by the film team, so Malek accepted the role, only on the premise that the terrorist character would not be Islamically or racially driven. Malek also shared how he felt deeply connected to his Egyptian heritage in the article, describing it as “the fabric of who I am." Malek said, “I am Egyptian. I grew up listening to Egyptian music. I loved Omar Sharif. These are my people. I feel so gorgeously tied to the culture and the human beings that exist there.”
This brazen and patriotic attitude is what is sure to change the entertainment world. Rami Malek did not only refuse to play a role if rooted in racism, but he also spoke publicly about the scapegoating culture in Hollywood, thus necessitating a spotlight on the issue, simply by refusing to subscribe to an unjust system this country has continued to foster for centuries.
Rami Malek also proved that the attention of the American people is a responsibility to be taken seriously. Media has often fed people a warped image of minorities, which abuses the power they are given by our First Amendment. Just because it is legal to portray all Muslims as hateful terrorists do not mean it should be done. Malek has created conversation surrounding this topic, as every major news organization had to report on his refusal to play an Arab terrorist. This includes Fox News, USA Today, and even Men's Health Magazine.
Even without a platform as large as Rami Malek's 677,000 Twitter followers, we can all spread the word about fighting injustice by simply speaking up about it and encouraging discussion about issues and solutions.
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