Riz Ahmed has revealed he missed April’s Star Wars Celebration because Homeland Security didn’t allow him to board his flight to Chicago.
The Emmy award winning star of The Night Of, who portrayed Rebel hero Bodhi Rook in Rogue One, opened up about the sudden cancellation of his appearance at the beloved convention at the CAA’s Amplify leadership summit, which was held to discuss issues relating to diversity, multiculturalism and the treatment of minorities in various industries.
Ahmed revealed that he has “been consistently stopped, searched and interview[ed] at airports” over the last 15 years “because of his race.”
“[Hassan Minhaj] 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,” Ahmed passionately declared during his speech, which was attended by The Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”
Back in April, Star Wars Celebration’s Twitter account posted the following messages announcing the cancellation of Ahmed’s appearance.
#StarWarsCelebration Update: the Rogue One Team Up Photo Op for today has also been canceled and you will automatically be refunded after the show.— StarWars Celebration (@SW_Celebration) April 12, 2019
#StarWarsCelebration Update: We're so sorry to announce that due to circumstances beyond his control, Riz Ahmed will be canceling his full appearance. Attendees can use their current Riz Ahmed tickets to exchange at the Topps Help Desk throughout the weekend.— StarWars Celebration (@SW_Celebration) April 12, 2019
Ahmed also told those in attendance at the summit that the best way to fight back is to improve the representation of Muslims across media, “starting with research and data, creating a framework, and building institutions that people like he and Minhaj can support.”