Riz Ahmed Missed Star Wars Celebration Due to Being Stopped by Homeland Security

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Riz Ahmed says an encounter with Homeland Security prohibited his attending Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April.

“[Hasan Minhaj] can win a Peabody, I can win an Emmy, Ibtihaj Muhammad can go to the Olympics, but some of these obstacles are systemic and we can’t really face them alone, we need your help,” the Bodhi Rook actor said at CAA’s Amplify leadership summit (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Per THR, Ahmed said he is frequently stopped and searched when traveling through airports because of his race, and he was en route to Celebration when Homeland Security prevented him from boarding his plane.

“I’m basically here to ask for your help, because it’s really scary to be a Muslim right now, super scary,” Ahmed said. “I’ve often wondered, is this going to be the year when they round us up, if this is going to be the year they put Trump’s registry into action. If this is going to be the year they ship us all off.”

THR also reported Ahmed pointed to Islamophobia as a sure way to win elections before calling for improvements in Muslim representation.

“How I do what I do is because like all of you here, I’m a code-switcher,” Ahmed said.

“We all know how to change the way we talk, the way we dress, the way we walk as we enter one room or another. We all know how to navigate terrain that isn’t of our own making. That’s how I can do it, but that’s not why I do what I do. The why is because I don’t want to have to code-switch anymore.”

Ahmed, who penned upcoming BBC Films drama Mughal Mowgli, previously declared his hopes to script a Marvel Studios film centered around Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics’ first leading Muslim character. Ahmed took to Twitter with the campaign, tagging Emmy-nominated writer Mindy Kaling (The Office, Late Night) and Academy Award winner Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick).

Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige later said the Disney-owned studio intends to introduce the character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the near future.

“I think she’s a contemporary story,” Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige told ComicBook.com of the decision to hold off on introducing Khan in the 1995-set Captain Marvel. “I don’t think she was a little kid in 1990. I’m not sure she was born in 1995.”


The Brie Larson-led Captain Marvel is instead the “first step towards introducing [Khan’s] hero,” which Feige said “is how you begin to bring her about at some point.”

Ahmed recently appeared as the villainous Carlton Drake in Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man spinoff Venom.