Muslim Actors Scoring More Roles in Hollywood ... Take That, Prez Trump?

3/21/2017 10:58 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Hollywood is hiring way more Muslim actors than ever before ... and President Trump might very well be the one to thank.

Industry sources tell TMZ there's been a big uptick in the number of roles for Muslim actors this pilot season, and that TV networks are pushing for more Muslim-American story lines in primetime.

For example ... Omar Metwally (CBS), Mouzam Makkar (NBC), Zainab Johnson (ABC), Adeel Akhtar (FOX) and Hasan Minhaj (Netflix) ... are all starring in pilots right now.

Sue Obeidi, the director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Hollywood, says studios and production companies are reaching out to her group to consult on accurate plots.

She adds ... rather than just casting someone who might look Middle Eastern or Arabic, networks are pushing for actual Muslims to play Muslim characters. As opposed to the infamous casting of Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Prince of Persia.'

Sources at one of TV's biggest casting agencies say the demand has been on the rise since Trump announced his presidential bid.

As for why? The timing makes it seem obvious -- Hollywood power players, most of whom are vehemently anti-Trump, are pushing back against what they see as his exclusionary policies.

Translation: In your face, Mr. President.