“United States of Al” blasted for manipulating the Afghan character; Reza Aslan defends CBS sitcom – Deadline

Earlier this month, CBS released the first trailer for Chuck Lorre’s upcoming comedy. United States of Al, which is set to debut on April 1. What should have been a delicious and fun take on the new sitcom has turned into a backlash against the series.

Created by David Goetsch and Maria Ferrari, the series follows a friendship between Riley (Parker Young), a Marine combat veteran struggling to readjust to civilian life in Ohio, and Awalmir (“Al”) (Adhir Kalyan ), the interpreter who served with his unit in Afghanistan and has just arrived to start a new life in America. Sounds harmless, right? Well, for many there are red flags. On the one hand, a non-Afghan actor is playing the lead role and at a time when authentic portrayal is paramount, it was a spark that sparked a significant reaction.

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Since the trailer released, Twitter has been on fire with criticism of the series and executive producer Reza Aslan has spent a lot of time trying to put out these fires, defending United States of Al.

“You can’t judge a show by a 30-second trailer. Well, you shouldn’t, at least, “he replied to one tweet and in another he defended:” There are five Afghan characters in the show and four of them are played by Afghans. . We’ve seen 100 Afghan leads, but the sitcom is a niche genre and it’s very difficult to act. But we also have four Afghan writers / producers on the show who did a great job helping Adhir.

“Maybe learn a bit more about the show, its creators, producers, four Afghan writers, plot and pretty much everything else before you give your opinion on it,” Aslan wrote.

He continued, “Because it’s my show, I can make sure it’s written and produced by Afghans and Muslims. Let him use the format to reframe the perception people have of the two. That he portrays an Afghan Muslim protagonist in a true and honest light.

Read some of the tweets below.

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