Rami Malek Talks Diversity After Becoming First Non-White Actor in 18 Years to Win Leading Actor

Rami Malek spoke about diversity at the 2016 Emmys after becoming the first non-white actor to win leading drama role in 18 years.

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Complex Original

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One of the realest moments from last night's Emmys broadcast was when Rami Malek, star of Mr. Robot, got to the podium to accept his Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy and uttered a phrase from his character Elliot the hit USA Network series: "please tell me you're seeing this, too."


The comment was funny for two reasons: one, it drew on the show's fake versus real concept, but two, it's the fact that Malek, who is of Egyptian descent, is the first minority actor to win the Lead Actor Emmy in 18 years. This isn't something that's totally destroying the #OscarsSoWhite problem with diversity in Hollywood, but as he said in a backstage interview with E!, this could be a step in the right direction.

"It shows that times are changing, people are more progressive," Rami said, "and I think this is more the look of America than it ever has been, with guys like Aziz Ansari and so many others. It's f--king amazing to see!" It's eerily similar to the multiracial Spider-Man: Homecoming casting.

With season two of Mr. Robot coming to a close this Wednesday, this is a huge accomplishment for both Malek and the series, which has already been picked up for a third season, and could last through a fifth season. Time will tell if his Lead Actor Emmy win could result in more diversity in the winners circle during award season.

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