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.
- Venom review: “Tom Hardy delivers enjoyable moments, but the plot is clunky”
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diversity vs representation pic.twitter.com/HmgoQQUZtl
— Riz Ahmed (@rizwanahmed) October 7, 2018
“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.
PREACH!!!!! Diversity is about making the already powerful person in the room feel better about themselves. Representation is about allowing people to see themselves in the stories allegedly being made for them. That's been my experience anyway. Love you riz https://t.co/h6yBPDSHiS
— Ramzi DeHani (@Ramblezi) October 8, 2018
Riz Ahmed breaks down why your “diversity” goals always fall flat. We don’t want to hear about diversity without representation. We don’t believe you until you put your money where your mouth is. https://t.co/IZZekUNhKn
— Ru Bhatt (@RuBhatt) October 8, 2018
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”.