Abubakr Ali was 10 years old when two hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001.The problem here is that the actor is making such a big deal out of being hired despite his religious background, and the network is going out of their way to whitewash it. Worst is the victimology angle they resorted to, without any consideration for how 9-11 Families and survivors of the attack could feel. And Wagner himself doesn't seem particularly troubled:
The terrorist attacks took place a year after Ali moved to the United States from Egypt, and they changed his life forever. From that day forward, the child in Ali became stifled, he says, aching under the weight of blame Muslim communities were forced to endure.
Acting became his only escape, he says, a passion he discovered unexpectedly in high school after taking a required drama class.
Now Ali is making Hollywood history as the first Arab Muslim male actor to portray a series lead in a comic book adaptation, Netflix has confirmed to CNN.
The 30-year-old actor will be featured in the upcoming series "Grendel" as a vigilante hero who goes by the same name. Grendel is the masked identity of Hunter Rose, a fencer, writer and assassin "seeking to avenge the death of a lost love," Netflix said in a press release.
For Ali, the role is a welcome challenge -- and the chance he doubted he would ever get.
"I'm so excited about this opportunity. There is so much possibilities with this. There are so many emotional, physical and psychological extremes that are going into the show, and it requires all of me in a really beautiful way," he told CNN. "I always thought I wouldn't be able to play anything outside the trope line that anyone who is Muslim or Arab can only play roles where they are either the good Muslim who assimilates into the Western world and proves they're one of the good ones, or the terrorist," he said. "There hasn't been room for roles like the complex anti-hero that is so complicated and flawed but also beautiful in their own way. And this role is the perfect opportunity for that."
In the "Grendel" comic books, created by Matt Wagner and published by Dark Horse Comics, Rose takes on the identity of Grendel as he battles New York's criminal underworld.That's still no excuse for his belief system, which neither the actor nor anybody else here seems to find reprehensible. Point: there may be moderate Muslims, but there's no moderate Islam. And since this is Netflix producing the show, that's a leading reason why it's better to avoid the new TV show regardless, seeing how PC much of their output's turned out to be.
"I couldn't be more thrilled about the Grendel saga, one of the longest-running independent comics series, finally being translated into live-action for the screen," Wagner said in a statement. "I'm especially excited to see Abubakr Ali bring the character of Grendel/Hunter Rose to life -- he has the charisma, style and vital edginess that I've been envisioning in the role for years."