Riz Ahmed spoke at the CAA Amplify Summit about diversity, where he revealed he couldn’t attend a Star Wars event because Homeland Security stopped him from boarding his flight.
The event took place in Ojai, California, where he talked about being racially profiled at the airport, preventing him from being able to attend a fan event in April.
The 36-year-old, who played Bodhi Rook in Star Wars: Rogue One, at the time said he couldn’t attend “due to circumstances beyond his control.”
According to Hollywood Reporter, he told the audience: “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.
He also talked about navigating white spaces and “code switching” as a way to avoid discrimination
How I do what I do is because like all of you here, I’m a code-switcher.
We all know how to change the way we talk, the way we dress, the way we walk as we enter one room or another. We all know how to navigate terrain that isn’t of our own making.
That’s how I can do it, but that’s not why I do what I do. The why is because I don’t want to have to code-switch anymore.
Riz Ahmed has talked about his experience with racial profiling in the past. Last year he told Sunday Today: “I was getting on the plane to do the Star Wars press tour, I’d be stopped for a second time, patted down, searched.
At this point, the guys searching me are, like, they’re fans of mine.
So, they’re quoting rap lyrics back at me about being searched at the airport while they’re searching me at the airport and then they’re asking me for selfies.