Two Arab Americans Nominated for Emmys
BY: Clara Ana Ruplinger/Contributing Writer
This year, 18 minorities have received an Emmy nomination, which is up from 11 the previous year. Included in this list are two Arab Americans: Rami Malek, lead actor on Mr. Robot, was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series; and Sam Esmail, a writer for Mr. Robot, was nominated in the category of Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Both are of Egyptian descent.
Rami Malik was born in Los Angeles, California to Coptic Christian Egyptian parents. He has been featured in a variety of films and shows, including Gilmore Girls, The War at Home, Over There, 24, all three films of Night at Museum, and the HBO mini-series The Pacific.
In his current role as lead actor on Mr. Robot, Malik plays Elliot Anderson, a worker at the cyber security company Allsafe, who is struggling with clinical depression and social anxiety disorder. Elliot is recruited by “fsociety”, a covert hactivist group whose main mission is to cancel consumer debt by destroying records of one of the largest corporations in the world, E Corp, which is also Allsafe’s biggest client. Since Mr. Robot’s debut, Malek has been praised by many. Writing about his performance, Sonia Saraiya said,“It’s Malek’s soulful eyes and silent pathos that give Mr. Robot its unexpected warmth, as the viewer is lured into Elliot’s chaos and confusion.”
Sam Esmail was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He has written several screenplays over the years, including Sequels, Remakes & Adaptations, as well as Comet, which was released by IFC in 2014. He is the creator, executive producer, and head writer of the series Mr. Robot.
In a BBC interview, Esmail talks about how his heritage has influenced his work, saying, “I tend to write about alienated figures who can’t connect with others and who are kind of distant from American culture. It’s not something I am consciously doing but it’s something that happens to be infused inside me because of my experience growing up in America.” He also cites the Arab Spring as inspiration for writing Mr. Robot, because of how the youth used social media and computers to bring about change.
In total, Mr. Robot picked up six Emmy nominations, proving these two have made a powerful team, and that Arab Americans are more than capable of producing top quality television. Arab America is wishing these two icons the best of luck for the future on Mr. Robot and the Emmy Awards.