Rami Said Malek is a proud Egyptian-American actor. He became well-known for the lead role of Elliot Alderson in the critically acclaimed USA Network television series Mr. Robot—and his win is, I hope, also a win for more positive lead roles for Arab actors.
Even before 9/11, Arab Americans, Middle Easterners and Muslims faced sweeping stereotypes about their culture and religion. Not all Arabs are Muslim and not all Muslims are Arab. Hollywood and television shows more often than not depict Arab men as terrorists or backward villainous brutes and women as submissive, decorative lamps or Scheherazade fantasy belly dancers. USA and Rami should be applauded for such a rich, intelligently written and layered portrayal of Elliot. His role refreshingly, doesn’t hinge on his ethnicity and I’m pleased he’s so well loved and accepted at a time where there is a rise in anti-Arab rhetoric. Keep that up America!
This was Malek’s first Emmy, and he faced stiff competition—-Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan), and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards).
In total, Mr. Robot was nominated for six Emmy Awards for season_1.0. Creator Sam Esmail attended the event with his fiance Emmy Rossum, along with stars Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, and Carly Chaikin.
I actually had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Malek and co-star Christian Slater last at last years NEW YORK COMIC CON. Here’s the Video I shot-
Malek, beamed after his jubilant acceptance speech, “There’s a little bit of Elliot in all of us, isn’t there?”
“Please tell me you’re seeing this too,” Rami Malek said as he accepted the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Mr. Robot Sunday night. There is and we did Rami. We sure did! Well done!
The season_2.0 finale of Mr. Robot airs this Wednesday at 10/9c. Catch up now on USANetwork.com or the USA Now app.
Art Credit -Listed/ABC/Author/USA Network