Riz Ahmed doesn’t like the term “diversity” because “it sounds like an added extra – the fries, not the burger”

The Venom star says he “would prefer to talk about representation”

Riz Ahmed

Riz Ahmed has said he doesn’t like the term “diversity” because “it sounds like an added extra” and he “would prefer to talk about representation”.


The actor, who plays Carlton Drake in the new Venom movie, appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and his thoughts on the importance of representation really struck a chord with viewers.

“In terms of diversity and representation,” said Ahmed, “I don’t like to talk about diversity. I feel like it sounds like an added extra.

“It sounds like the fries, not the burger. It sounds like something on the side, you’ve got your main thing going on, you get a sprinkle of a little bit of diversity on top of that.

“That’s not what it’s about for me. It’s about representation, and representation is absolutely fundamental in terms of what we expect from our culture, and from our politics.

“We all want to feel represented, we want to feel seen and heard and valued. I prefer to talk about representation.”

The Rogue One star’s words were met with applause and cheering from the studio audience, and many took to Twitter to echo his sentiment.

Ahmed appears in Venom alongside Tom Hardy, which is showing in UK cinemas now.


He is also set to tell an “untold British story” with his ambitious new drama Englistan on BBC2, which promises to show “the birth of multicultural Britain as seen from the inside”.