No one really thinks of Aziz Ansari as Muslim, but technically he’s one of the most famous Muslim-Americans in the U.S. right now.
It’s T-minus two weeks until Ansari’s Master of None returns to Netflix, bringing Dev and co. back into our lives. And, judging from an interview Ansari did with Vulture, the new season will dedicate at least one episode to religion, while it continues to delve into Dev’s family and relationships, and what it’s like to be a first generation South Asian American.
In the interview, Ansari discussed his position in media as an Indian, Muslim-American comedian, the responsibility he felt hosting SNL the day after Trump’s inauguration, and, of course, creating a television show that veered outside the typical topics and plots for a comedy series. He also talked about the reality that the few violent and Islamophobic representations of Muslims affect the way people actually view Muslim people. From Vulture:
“If every time you see a Muslim person, it’s the fucking guy from 24 or Homeland, yeah, it’s going to shape your opinion of all these people,” he says. “If every time you saw a Muslim person on TV, and it’s my dad, you’ll be like, ‘These goofy people! They’re probably gonna ask me for a bite of my sandwich.’ I don’t think Islamophobic people have hate in their heart. I’m not saying it’s justified, but representation is part of the problem.”
Ansari has a way of walking the tightrope between addressing and appreciating his heritage without necessarily being beholden to it (or at least that’s how it seems). I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how he addresses Islam in the new season.