Muslims seek a change in their Hollywood story
After years of watching Muslims portrayed as terrorists in mainstream TV and movies, an advocacy group hopes to change that image by grooming a crop of aspiring Muslim screenwriters who can bring their stories — and perspective — to Hollywood.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council is hosting a series of workshops taught by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated veterans over the next month, an initiative that builds on the group’s outreach for a more representative picture of Muslim-Americans on the screen.
With any luck, Hollywood will listen. The industry has taken more interest in telling authentic Muslim stories in recent years, said Ahmos Hassan, a Muslim-American talent manager who has been in the business for more than two decades.
“There’s a demand for Muslim stories, but whether it’s Muslim writers or not depends on the talent they bring to the table,” Hassan, who owns Chariot Management, said during a break in the class. “They need to bring that to the industry … and I think the industry is open to it now, more so than any time before.”