On the cover of New York magazine’s May 1–14, 2017, issue, contributing editor Jada Yuan talks to actor and comedian Aziz Ansari about refusing to do fake Indian accents, casting himself as the hopeless-romantic lead on his Netflix show Master of None, knowing when being political is no longer a choice, and more.
Reflecting on an episode of the show where Ansari chose to cast his father, an Indian Muslim doctor who likes Harry Potter and makes dumb jokes about Michael Jordan, Ansari tells Yuan: “I’m glad we didn’t say anything [overt]. If every time you see a Muslim person, it’s the fucking guy from 24 or Homeland, yeah, it’s going to shape your opinion of all these people. If every time you saw a Muslim person on TV, and it’s my dad, you’ll be like, ‘These goofy people! They’re probably gonna ask me for a bite of my sandwich.’ I don’t think Islamophobic people have hate in their heart. I’m not saying it’s justified, but representation is part of the problem.”