Actor Riz Ahmed said he prefers to talk about representation over diversity when it comes to being inclusive.
The Venom actor appeared on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, where he made a clear distinction between the two terms.
“I don’t like to talk about diversity, I feel like it sounds like an added extra,” he explained.
It sounds like the fries, not the burger. You know? It sounds like something on the side – you got your main thing going on – and yeah let’s sprinkle a little bit of diversity on top of that.
That’s not what it’s about for me. It’s about representation. Representation is absolutely fundamental in terms of what we expect from our culture, and from our politics. We all want to feel represented. We all want to feel seen and heard and valued so I prefer to talk about representation.
The normally quick-witted Noah was momentarily left speechless, before he said Ahmed did a “great job” with the description.
The 35-year-old actor made history in 2017 when he became the first Muslim person and the first person of South Asian heritage to win an Emmy for acting.
Fans took to Twitter to celebrate the actor and the important distinction between the two concepts.
In the mind of the Isis recruit, he’s the next James Bond right? Have you seen some of those Isis propaganda videos, they are cut like action movies. Where is the counter narrative? Where are we telling these kids they can be heroes in our stories, that they are valued?
“If we fail to represent, we are in danger of losing people to extremism.”