Riz Ahmed is opening up about his experiences with discrimination — including a time when he says Homeland Security blocked him from boarding a plane on his way to a "Star Wars" convention in Chicago.
Ahmed, who is of Pakistani descent, said that due to his race he's typically stopped and searched at airports. He said airport security guards have swabbed him for explosives, then requested selfies or start rapping his lyrics.
USA TODAY has reached out to Ahmed's reps and the Department of Homeland Security for comment.
He also talked about the importance of improving Muslim representation.
While onstage with comedian Hasan Minhaj, Ahmed pointed to him and said "He can win a Peabody; I can win an Emmy; Ibtihaj Muhammad can go to the Olympics, but some of these obstacles are systemic and we can’t really face them alone, we need your help. I’m basically here to ask for your help, because it’s really scary to be a Muslim right now, super scary. I’ve often wondered, is this going to be the year when they round us up, if this is going to be the year they put Trump’s registry into action. If this is going to be the year they ship us all off."
Fellow Pakistani celebrity Tan France, of Netflix's "Queer Eye," has also spoken out against racism he's faced as both a flight attendant and a regular traveler.
What was particularly difficult for him was dealing with drunk passengers who could be racist.
"This was a couple of years after 9/11, and they had no qualms about openly referring to my people as terrorists," France wrote in his new memoir. "The flight would start off well enough, but by the end of the flight, it would be clear they weren't so happy that I was the one serving them."
He also talked in the book about trouble he's encountered at the U.S. customs desk and has previously spoken out on social media accusing the TSA of labeling him a "security risk" because of his skin color.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Riz Ahmed says he was blocked from boarding plane to 'Star Wars' convention due to race