New York-based Sikh actor Waris Ahluwalia was detained in Mexico City this morning while boarding a fligth to NYC account of his beard and turban.
Shortly after the incident, he posted a photo to Instagram while holding his ticket with the caption: “I was told I could not board my @aeromexico flight to NYC because of my turban. #FearisanOpportunitytoEducate #humanrights #dignity #lovenotfearfight “
Ahluwalia, who is perhaps best known for his role in “The Grand Budapest” Hotel and as the founder of jewelry company ‘House of Waris,’ is no stranger to discrimination. As the first Sikh man to appear in U.S. ad campaign for Gap in 2013, his viral poster was vandalised with racial slurs.
“What it did was create an opportunity for dialogue and race relations,” he told The Washington Post of the incident.
In an aggravating case of life imitating art, Ahluwalia appeared in Spike Lee’s 2006 film“Inside Man” as acharacters was racially profiled because of his turban. In the film, when police detailed his character and assumed he was Muslim, he correced them and replied “No, I’m Sikh.”
Ahluwalia recently finished “Indian Gigolo,” a collaboration with Spike Lee, Deepa Mehta, and Wes Anderson.