Taking a dig at his own immigrant status and extending support to the ‘Dreamers’ in the United States, Pakistan-origin comedian Kumail Nanjiani has said nobody from Hollywood can find Pakistan on the map.
The comedian along with actress Lupita Nyong’o from Kenya used presenting the Oscar for production design at the 2018 Academy Awards on Sunday as an opportunity to voice support for undocumented migrants who arrived in the US as children, according to IANS.
“We are the two actors who you keep hearing about but whose names you have trouble pronouncing,” Nyong’o quipped.
Nanjiani added, “Actually, I have to complain… Kumail Nanjiani is my stage name. My actual given Pakistani name is Chris Pine. So you can imagine how annoyed I was when the other, the white one showed up… The real Chris Pine.”
Nyong’o, whose latest release Black Panther is performing well at the box office, then said: “We are also immigrants. I am from Kenya.”
Adding to this, Nanjiani said, “And I am from Pakistan and Iowa, two places that nobody from Hollywood can find on the map.”
“Like everyone in this room, and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers. We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood, and dreams are the foundation of America,” said Nyong’o, who won the Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years A Slave in 2014.
“And so, to all the dreamers out there, we stand with you,” added Nanjiani of The Big Sick fame.
Nanjiani and Nyong’o’s comments come amid an ongoing immigration debate in the US over a programme that protects hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. US President Donald Trump announced an end to the programme in September last year but gave Congress six months to find a legislative alternative.