We all know Riz Ahmed is both willing and able to talk about diversity in the media, as evidenced by that amazing op-ed he wrote for The Guardian. But reading his words is nothing compared to watching him say them out loud in a nice suit in front of the British government. That is the good stuff right there.
At the Channel 4 Annual Diversity Lecture yesterday, the 34-year old Rogue One actor addressed the House of Commons in a keynote speech, telling esteemed members of Parliament and the press that a failure to represent diverse stories will cause marginalized viewers to “switch off” and “retreat to fringe narratives.”
“But Riz Ahmed,” I’m sure someone on the Internet is saying right now, “aren’t things getting better? After all, you’re in a Star War!” Yeah, but that’s not good enough. Let him tell you why:
Riz Ahmed is 100% invited to the cookout. Riz talking about representation in the industry today. WATCH THIS! MY FAV IS WOKE! pic.twitter.com/h2EF8Zk5n8— Jason "Lemonade"-ing (@IsotopeRose) March 2, 2017
A bit of an explanation for my fellow Americans: The government of Great Britain has a much more direct and vested interest in the quality of their television industry’s output than ours generally does, because the BBC is a publicly funded broadcaster… that’s actually got halfway decent funding. Channel 4 isn’t quite the same juggernaut (it’s funded through advertising and government grants rather than a television license), but regardless there’s a lot of taxpayer money floating around in British TV. So, yeah, they’re gonna talk about media diversity in Parliament. Every year, apparently. Why couldn’t we have picked that up from across the pond instead of all the terrible Brexit rhetoric?
H/T Time Out London