Obama Says TV Shows Need More Muslim Characters Who Aren’t Terrorists


During his first visit to a U.S. mosque as president, President Obama weighed in on the issue of diversity in Hollywood casting by calling for American television shows to feature more Muslim characters “that are unrelated to national security.”

Speaking at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Obama said Muslim-Americans often feel “invisible” in the United States.

“And part of what we have to do is to lift up the contributions of the Muslim-American community, not when there’s a problem, but all the time,” Obama said.

To that end, Obama — a big fan of the TV series Homeland and The Knick — said that American television shows need to include better representations of the Muslim community. He added that most coverage of Muslims or Islam in America is driven after acts of terrorism “or in distorted media portrayals in TV or film.”

“Our television shows should have some Muslim characters that that are unrelated to national security,” he said. “It’s not that hard to do.”

“There was a time when there were no black people on television,” Obama added. “And you can tell good stories while still representing the reality of our communities.”