HOUSTON—As he praised the growing representation in popular culture of people who at least superficially resemble him, local Pakistani-American Zabir Jalbani told reporters Wednesday he has been thrilled to see more characters on television and in movies who could feasibly pass for his nationality. “It’s really inspiring to see roles being given to ethnically ambiguous people who, if nothing else, have skin tones approximating those of Pakistanis,” said Jalbani, adding that he never thought he’d see the day when Hollywood would champion actors of color who could plausibly belong to one of several underrepresented groups, including his own. “Things aren’t quite where they need to be yet, but it’s nice that we as a culture are moving away from always casting white actors in roles that could just as easily be filled by Brazilian or Arab performers who bear a very vague resemblance to people like me. It just makes me feel more visible when I go to the movies, look up at the screen, and see, I guess, a Hispanic guy?” At press time, reports confirmed Jalbani was disappointed to realize that many of the actors were, in fact, very tan white people.
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