Shah Rukh Khan is one of the most iconic actors in the world. Ever. The Bollywood star has had a sterling career for well over two decades, endless brand endorsement deals, and according to a 2011 survey more people know him than Tom Cruise. Apparently that’s not enough to save him from being detained at a U.S. airport.
Late last night, upon arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Khan was pulled aside by immigration for an undisclosed amount of time. He took to Twitter to express his dismay.
While the reason for the hold up is not clear, any brown person who has been stopped for a “random search” at the airport multiple times can probably guess why. Not even the most visible and accomplished celebrities are immune to the racial profiling and Islamophobia that affects America’s own citizens every day.
Khan has been pulled aside twice before. In 2012, he was held at White Plains Airport for two hours after being invited to speak at a little place called Yale University. In 2009, he was held for almost two hours at Newark International airport—he was told his name appeared on a no-fly list.
Since last night’s altercation, the American Ambassador to India has apologized to the actor, as has the American Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.
Khan was very understanding (not that he really had a choice?) of the matter.
Maybe he caught a Kangaskhan, but then again, with a name like that, it should probably be on a no fly list. I mean,who knows what it’s really hiding in that pouch.