In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last week, actor and rapper Riz Ahmed spoke out against the limited roles for actors of color in TV and film, saying he'd rather go broke than play stereotypical characters.
The British actor of Pakistani descent, known for starring in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and HBO’s The Night Of, explains how he faced typecasting when he first went into acting.
"There was a lot of, like, Terrorist No. 3 stuff — I just made a decision I wasn't going to do it. I thought, 'I'd rather be broke'," Ahmed said.
He also went on to explain that while a lot of his early work deals with issues around the war on terror or Islamophobia, it also engages with them in creative ways - ways that the actor hopes can help "move us forward rather than doubling down on lazy stereotypes."
People take notice on social media...
Soon after Ahmed's comments began making the rounds online, people took notice of his powerful take on the indignity of typecasting and many are now hailing him for being a role model to other young actors.
A powerful response...
"Yet another reason Riz Ahmed is the best"
"Thanks for not being terrorist #3"
We've got to move forward not backwards
Role model Riz...
As if we needed another reason to love Riz Ahmed!
Not Ahmed's first powerful message against faulty representations and their dangerous effects
This certainly isn't the first time Ahmed sends a powerful message on the importance of representation and diversity in the film industry.
The actor is extremely outspoken when it comes to addressing the lack of diverse, inclusive representation and how it affects young people around the world.
In a speech he gave in March, Ahmed addressed the UK Parliament whereby he stressed on the need to step up and counter these narratives by focusing on telling more representative stories.
"If we fail to represent, we are in danger of losing people to extremism," the 34-year-old actor said.
"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 valued?"