Islamophobia or fun? Golden Globe winner Youssef suggests he was profiled during airport security check
Golden Globe winner Ramy Youssef videotapes his experience passing through Los Angeles Airport security with his Golden Globe Award carried in a special box as it passes through security, is opened and then wiped down. Afterwards, the TSA Agent jokes with Ramy posing with the award. Clearly it was all about humor as the TSA does not permit anyone to videotape the security process, but Youssef, who won the Award for his performance int he 10-episode hit Hulu series “Ramy” suggested it was because he has a “Muslim” Name.
By Ray Hanania
Golden Globe winner Ramy Youssef suggested he was profiled as a Muslim when his Golden Globe Award was searched by TSA security agents at Los Angeles Airport Tuesday.
Youssef, who won the Golden Globe Award during Sunday’s ceremonies for his performance in the 10-part Hulu comedy series “Ramy,” videotaped the TSA security check with his cell phone as he went through security and posted it on his Instagram account.
The incident suggested Youssef, 28, was being targeted because he was profiled as a Muslim, but the Golden Globe Award looked very suspicious when it passed through the X-Ray Machines.
At the end of the short video clip on Instagram, Youssef posted, “The ‘random’ checks you have to deal with when you have a Muslim name.”
But no one should mistake Youssef’s sharp impromptu humor as a serious complaint of Islamophobia.
In viewing the video, it is clear that the Golden Globe Award looked suspicious even though it was in a separate dark brown box with the words “Golden Globe Award” emblazoned in gold on the top of the box.
After passing through security, TSA officers opened the box and pulled out the Award and one female officer held it up and displayed it as Youssef videotaped with his cellphone.
When the female TSA agent picked up the Golden Globe Award from out of the box and held it up in air, Youssef asked, “Is that part of the test or what?” The TSA agent posed with Golden Globe Award like she had just won it and then proceeded to wipe the statuette down for security tests.
Youssef then playfully asked the agent, “You had to make sure. Did it pass?” while sharing a laugh with the TSA Agent.
Normally, passengers who go through security screening are not allowed to videotape or to use their cellphones. That suggests the TSA incident at LA Airport was less about Islamophobia and more about entertainment.
To view the video, visit Youssef’s Instagram account @Ramy.
In “Ramy,” Youssef portrayed a first-generation Arab Muslim American who deals with the many stereotypes he has to face in America.
Youssef did not disappoint fans during his brief acceptance speech, remaining in his comedic role and carrying the stereotypes he tackled in his series to the live Golden Globe stage. Click here to read the story in the Arab News Newspaper.
“Allah-uh-Akhbar … This is thanks to God and Hulu,” Youssef said in accepting the award. “Most of you haven’t seen my show … This means a lot. Thank you.”
“Ramy” was broadcast by Hulu as a 10-part streaming series in April 2019 and is scheduled for a second season later this Spring.
With episodes set in New Jersey and Cairo, where he visits relatives, the show hilariously portrays the humor and reality of being an Arab and Muslim in America. Much of the show’s focus is more on being Muslim and less on being Arab, a trend that reflects the reality of Arab American life in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The irreverent half-hour comedy series took on many of the stereotypes and challenges Muslims, and Arabs, face in America, from having to wash your feet before Masjid prayers and having sexual relations with non-Muslims while dealing with the concerns of his conservative and religious parents.