Victory for diversity

Rami Malek with his trophy during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Kevin Winter / Getty Images / AFP
Rami Malek with his trophy during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Kevin Winter / Getty Images / AFP

We usually see Arabs being depicted in mainstream television series as cartoonish stereotypes, which is why Egyptian-American Rami Malek winning an Emmy for best actor in a drama series is so impressive. Malek plays Elliot Alderson, a hacking prodigy with a knack for reading people by instinct and via snooping, in the television series Mr Robot.

While this award is a credit to his own acting skill for playing with conviction a person afflicted by mental illness, it is also a victory for how the Arab world is portrayed in showing that people from this region have the same complexities and nuances as people everywhere. Too often Arab people are only portrayed in a solely negative way, exacerbating the prejudices they face in daily life.

Malek’s win also comes on the heels of the debate over the lack of diversity in Oscar nominations and is a reminder to everyone that genuine talent can never be suppressed.

Published: September 20, 2016 04:00 AM

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