The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said: ‘Muslims are 25 per cent of the population, but only one per cent of characters in popular TV series,’
Malala Yousafzai called out Hollywood for its lack of representation of Asian and Muslim cultures.
Yousafzai, is one of this year’s honourees at US outlet Variety’s Power of Women event, which took place in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
It comes just over a week before the 10-year anniversary of the Talban’s assassination attempt on her when she was 15.
In her speech at Variety’s Power of Women event, the 25-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that Muslim actors only make up one per cent of popular television series leads.
“I learned that Asian people like me make up less than four per cent of leads in Hollywood films,” she said. “Muslims are 25 per cent of the population, but only one per cent of characters in popular TV series.”
“I know that the executives have passed on dozens of quality, equally amazing projects because they thought that the characters or their creators were too young, too Brown, too foreign, too poor,” Yousafzai added. “Sometimes it feels like they’re saying we just don’t belong here.”
Malala Yousafzai recently launched her film production career with three projects for Apple.
Earlier this month, Malala’s production company Extracurricular partnered with the Indie Studio A24 for an untitled feature documentary on the ”Haenyeo” society of fisherwomen. These women live on South Korea’s Jeju Island.
The other project is a scripted series based on Asha Lemmie’s coming of age novel ”Fifty Words. This series revolves around a woman’s search for acceptance in the post-World War II era through Adam McDonald (Don’t Look Up)n’t Look Up) and his production, Hyperobject, are adapting Hsieh Chu’s book Disrientation into a feature film. Disrientation.
Yousafzai told Variety that she’s hoping to include the voices of women of colour, debut writers and Muslim directors and writers.
“I hope we can have a wide range of perspectives and we can challenge some of the stereotypes we hold in our societies.
“I also wish that the content is entertaining and that people fall in love with the characters and have the most fun time together.”