Riz Ahmed makes history, becomes 1st Muslim man to win acting Emmy

Lynette Rowe
September 19, 2017

Riz Ahmed has become the first man of Asian descent to win an acting award at the Emmys, according to a media report.

But instead of merely thanking important people in his life, the Outstanding Lead Actor victor used his historical win to raise awareness for a much more important issue.

In his acceptance speech the handsome star paid tribute to the themes of the show for "shining a light" on injustice, as well as thanking the South Asian Youth Action and The Innocence Project for helping him to prepare for the role of the student, who is incarcerated in Rikers Island prison after becoming the prime suspect in a murder investigation.

So, when Ahmed made his acceptance speech, he spoke to what he hopes the series will accomplish saying, "It's always unusual reaping the rewards of a story that's based on real world suffering".

This would've also been the first Emmy win for De Niro and McGregor.

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"I don't know if any one person's win of an award, or one person snagging one role, or one person doing very well changes something that's a systemic issue ..." He captioned the video, "tbh I think my best work ever".

He added: "In terms of USA and the United Kingdom, I'm really proud to be a Londoner. And I think awareness is the first step to real change". "I'm also really aware that actors of color often have more opportunity in the U.S., but I think ultimately now we see that TV in particular is a global medium". "Hopefully we'll see a globalization of our storytelling".

Obviously, he was not the only South Asian Muslim who took to the Emmy stage: Aziz Ansari won the Outstanding Writing Emmy for comedy alongside Lena Waithe, and Kumail Nanjiani was on stage as a presenter.

Ahmed also gave the late James Gandolfini a shout-out onstage, adding that he hopes the series sheds light on the "injustice in our justice system".

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