Along with big winners like Game of Thrones and Veep, immigration garnered its share of the spotlight on Monday night at the 68th Annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
After winning his first Emmy award for outstanding lead actor in a drama, Mr. Robot star Rami Malek used his big moment in the Hollywood spotlight to speak out about his family history, being a child of immigrants — his parents immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt before he was born — and how essential it is for everyone to be given an equal chance to succeed.
“We live in a world right now where so many of us feel voiceless. We’re not being heard by the government, we’re not being heard by our society. I grew up in a family that immigrated here. My dad worked door to door to sell insurance, and my mom was pregnant with my brother and I, taking three buses going to work, so that they would give their children the opportunity to be special. My sister’s an ER doctor, my brother’s a teacher, and I’m standing here today. I think a lot of people can relate to wanting an opportunity. I wanted an opportunity and now I have it. I just want everyone, no matter how you grew up, the socio-economic standard you were born into, to have an opportunity regardless, to not be stifled in this time in the work. To be given a chance, like I’ve been given a chance.”
In addition, Master of None star Aziz Ansari — who with show runner Alan Yang won for writing on a comedy series with an episode about the sacrifices and expectations of immigrant parents — spoke out against some of Donald Trump’s controversial comments about immigrants, referencing his parents (who are Muslim immigrants) and Superstore actress America Ferrera (whose parents are Honduran immigrants).
“Mom and dad, I know I just thanked you, but you need to be escorted out. I’m so sorry. America Ferrera, nice try changing your name to America. You’re not fooling anybody. You’re out.”
Earlier this year, Ansari described how the rise of Trump has made him afraid for his family in a moving editorial for the New York Times.