Riz Ahmed launches new effort seeking to increase Muslims in Hollywood

Riz Ahmed launches new effort seeking to increase Muslims in Hollywood

Riz Ahmed arrives at the world premiere of "Venom" on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) (RNS) — Hollywood star Riz Ahmed has launched a new initiative meant to increase the representation of Muslims in Hollywood, both on and off the screen. While the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor is spearheading the effort, he is joined by some of Hollywood’s leading Muslim professionals. The Blueprint for Muslim Inclusion and the Pillars Artists Fellowship, in partnership with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and the Ford Foundation, will offer select grantees an unrestricted award of $25,000. The effort grew out of a USC Annenberg study on the representation of Muslims in film. The study found only 9.5% of top-grossing films from 2017-2019 had an onscreen Muslim character, and less than 2% of those characters had a speaking role. Muslims make up roughly 24% of the world’s population. The survey included data from 200 films and found that not a single animated film featured a Muslim character. Furthermore, only seven of the characters were …
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