British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed has made history as the first Asian star to win an acting prize at the Primetime Emmy Awards.
The London-born actor and musician was awarded the Outstanding Lead Actor award for his role in HBO’s The Night of on Sunday evening.
Ahmed told the audience that he was “proud” to be part of a show that helped shine a light “xenophobia” and “social injustice.”
“I want to say it is always strange reaping the rewards of a story based on real world suffering,” he said as he collected his award.
“But if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our societies, xenophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that is something."
Later in the evening, Ahmed said that he was happy to win the award but didn’t think that “one person’s win” would be enough provoke a systemic change.
"I don’t know if any one person’s win of an award, or one person snagging one role, or one person doing very well changes something that’s a systemic issue,” he said.
“I think that’s something that happens slowly over time."
He added: “In terms of US and the UK, I’m really proud to be a Londoner. I’m really proud to be from the UK.
“I’m also really aware that actors of colour often have more opportunity in the US, but I think ultimately now we see that TV in particular is a global medium.”
In the critically-acclaimed show, Ahmed played a Nasir Khan, a young Pakinstani man embroiled in a murder investigation.
Other big winners on the night included Donald Glover, who became the first black winner of the award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series.