Amour Al-Kadhi is a Hollywood actor and a contributor to Independent online magazine. In his most recent piece, the Arab actor complains about racism because he’s constantly offered positions in stereotypical Arab roles.
Al-Kadhi expressed his displeasure with the entire industry stating, in part,
“I’ve been sent nearly 30 scripts for which I’ve been asked to play terrorists on screen. Roles have varied from ones as meaty as ‘Suspicious Bearded Man on Tube’ to ‘Muslim man who hides his bombs in a deceptive burka’. Nearly zero Arab and Muslim identities are portrayed three-dimensionally on screen. It’s depressingly telling that American Sniper is one of the highest-grossing hits in film history…where white man Bradley Cooper kills unnamed Arab actors for over two hours.”
“Moonlight NEEDS to win Best Picture…because it sends an urgent message…that we’re ready to empathize with any story, no matter how far away they are from us, and how much they defy our systemic misconceptions. Now is not a time to escape into the “bygone days” of a white imperialist Britain, but to look outwards at the contemporary world, portraying minorities in a way that helps to dispel social prejudices and bring communities closer together. More than ever before, we need the cinema screen to do its unique job: to illuminate ignored identities, and to challenge the ideas that prejudice and politics would have us believe.”
Now, Al-Kadhi is an actor. His job is to play a character of which he fits the physical description and can accurately portray. Yet, he insist it’s absurd that he’s been asked to play the characters of which fit his physical description and characters that he has accurately portrayed in the past.
Quite frankly, I have to wonder what the hell he expected.
Did he think he was going to be cast as the next James Bond? Was he looking forward to being called in to audition for another revival of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Or should Clint Eastwood have picked him to play Chris Kyle, and stuck Bradley Cooper as “Random Terrorist Guy Number Five?”
Yes, we all understand why he wouldn’t want to be typecast as “Suspicious Bearded Man on Tube,” but let’s not pretend as if terrorists are generally portrayed as Arab men for no good reason.
One only needs list few of the most deadly terrorist organizations (Al-Queada, The Taliban, ISIS, Al-Shabaab, Hamas, Boko Haram, Hezbellah) before recognizing a commonality between them. The overwhelming majority of terrorist today are of Arab descent. So, when a film is being made with a terrorist they’re not going to get Jim Bob to play him; they’re going to get Mohammed or Khalid or, you guessed it, Amour Al-Kadhi.
Additionally, Movies in America center around American culture. It makes perfect sense that Arabs don’t tend to be picked to play main characters in the West because they only make up about 1% of the population in the US and about 4.5% in the UK. It’s simply not logical for Hollywood to start making movies with Arabs as main characters, for no reason other than to virtue signal.
This isn’t xenophobic, anti-Muslim, nor racist. It’s just reality. If you watch movies made for Middle Eastern audiences I’m sure you’re likely to notice an overwhelming number of Middle Eastern actors playing lead roles. I’d imagine the number of white western protagonists roles needing to be filled over there are quite slim, as well.
Furthermore, Hollywood actually does attempt to come up with diverse casts. They may not be up the diversity standards that the American Left wishes them to be, but they definitely give it a pretty good shot. You’d have to be completely intellectually incompetent to not notice that Hollywood constantly goes out of their way to portray gays, blacks, and every other minority group in a positive light.
Its clear that Al-Kadhi’s little rant was a completely irrational and emotionally based argument.
Producers, directors, and writers are just using their artistic abilities to portray stories for entertainment purposes. They are not oppressing Al-Kadhi, nor trying to insult him, by offering him paid gigs to play roles of which fit his past on-screen persona.
Al-Kadhi can choose not to take roles of characters he wishes not to portray. That’s perfectly reasonable, but bitching about being offered these gigs is pure arrogance. He’s just acting like self-righteous, privileged Hollywood elitist that fails to recognize the liberty and opportunities he’s been afforded. Liberty and opportunities that he most likely wouldn’t be afforded if it weren’t for the West.