Comedian and actor Aziz Ansari told Donald Trump to “go f*ck himself” with an essay in the New York Times Friday decrying the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s “vitriolic” and “hate speech”-filled campaign and the fear it has instilled in his Muslim-American family.
In his essay, the 33-year-old Master of None showrunner and former Parks and Recreation star wrote that when Americans picture Muslim-Americans in their heads, they don’t think of Malala Yousafzai or pop star Zayn Malik, but rather “scary terrorist” characters from television or “some monster from the news.”
“Today, with the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and others like him spewing hate speech, prejudice is reaching new levels,” Ansari wrote. “It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray. It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense.”
Ansari posted a link to the article on his Twitter account Friday morning, explaining that he wrote the piece to tell Trump to “go f*ck himself.”
— Aziz Ansari (@azizansari) June 24, 2016
Ansari’s essay continued:
There are approximately 3.3 million Muslim Americans. After the attack in Orlando, The Times reported that the F.B.I. is investigating 1,000 potential “homegrown violent extremists,” a majority of whom are most likely connected in some way to the Islamic State. If everyone on that list is Muslim American, that is 0.03 percent of the Muslim American population. If you round that number, it is 0 percent. The overwhelming number of Muslim Americans have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics.
The actor also recalled an incident shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks in which he was called a “terrorist” by a passing driver while crossing a street in Manhattan.
“The vitriolic and hate-filled rhetoric coming from Mr. Trump isn’t so far off from cursing at strangers from a car window,” Ansari wrote. “He has said that people in the American Muslim community ‘know who the bad ones are,’ implying that millions of innocent people are somehow complicit in awful attacks. Not only is this wrongheaded; but it also does nothing to address the real problems posed by terrorist attacks.”
“By Mr. Trump’s logic, after the huge financial crisis of 2007-08, the best way to protect the American economy would have been to ban white males,” he added.
.@rupertmudoch Are you responsible for the evil shit all Christians do or just the insane amount of evil you yourself contribute to?
— Aziz Ansari (@azizansari) January 12, 2015
“Are you responsible for the evil sh*t all Christians do or just the insane amount of evil you yourself contribute to?” the actor challenged Murdoch. “You are Catholic, why are you not hunting pedophiles?” he wrote Murdoch in another message.
Ansari has penned op-eds for the New York Times before; in November, the actor criticized Hollywood for habitually casting straight white males in “everyman” roles.
Ansari’s Netflix show, Master of None, was renewed for a second season in February.
Read his full essay at the New York Times here.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum