Remember when we thought in 2020s, either the world would’ve already ended or we would’ve made enough progress to be like The Jetsons? Well, unfortunately, neither has happened. Not utter destruction nor utter progress. And I, for one, blame our regressive mindsets that have fallen prey to evils like racism, bigotry, gender inequality, and more, and threaten to ruin centuries worth of progress. We were supposed to evolve into better human beings. Instead we’ve become disgruntled, petty and full of hatred. Recently, a racist passed a comment at The White Tiger filmmaker Ramin Bahrani while the latter was on a Zoom call. And it was so distasteful and unwarranted that one of the film’s stars and producers, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, also spoke out against it.
The Oscar-nominated Iranian American filmmaker was conducting a Zoom interview with filmmaker Ava DuVernay while out on location shooting a TV pilot for Apple TV when the incident occurred. Bahrani was told by a random man in a parked car to go back to his country where he came from.
View this post on Instagram
“I was in Atlanta on location in a residential neighbourhood directing a TV pilot for Apple. We had worked late that day, so I had to do my Zoom interview with Ava on my phone while we were still in the street. During the interview, I noticed a car parked behind me. When the driver saw me and my colleague (who is South Asian) he said, ‘You all think you run the world. You all don’t run s—.’ His friend told him to calm down and leave it alone. As the driver pulled away, he shouted, ‘Go back to your own country!’” Ramin Bahrani told People magazine.
It’s horrible that a country like America, which is such a vibrant melting pot of cultures and people from all over the world coming in to chase their dreams, continues to treat these very people who build their economy in such an insensitive manner. On the one end, Bahrani’s film, starring Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao and Priyanka Chopra, has been nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. And on the other hand, the people of the country that hosts the award are levelling racist comments at him. That’s the duality of our times, isn’t it?
Bahrani decided to speak up about this incident to make more people aware of how minorities continue to be racially targeted in the United States.
And his fellow immigrant industry peer, Priyanka Chopra, backed him up in another interview, where she spoke about the unfortunate incident. Calling out racists, the actor reminded people how important immigrants have been to America as we know it. “Who belongs here, and who doesn’t? Isn’t America a melting pot of all people from all backgrounds? This country was built on the back of immigrants in search of the American dream, a life of freedom, opportunity, and a safe place not only for themselves but for their families.”
View this post on Instagram
She also didn’t back down from calling out Hollywood for even now not fully embracing global culture when it comes to inclusivity and proper representation.
“Content by Hollywood is embraced by the world, but the world is not always embraced by Hollywood. Hollywood and pop culture, in general, have a massive responsibility in this fight for racial equality and representation in global entertainment.”