“Parks & Recreation” star Aziz Ansari is currently riding a good wave of buzz for his upcoming Netflix series “Master Of None.” Early reviews have been very good, and the first trailer also earned a very positive reception. However, as Ansari makes clear in a conversation with Vulture, he created the show because the quality roles for minorities out there are few and far between.
“[Racial quotas are] a real thing that happens. When they cast these shows, they’re like, ‘We already have our minority guy or our minority girl.’ There would never be two Indian people in one show. With Asian people, there can be one, but there can’t be two. Black people, there can be two, but there can’t be three because then it becomes a black show. Gay people there can be two, women there can be two, but Asian people, Indian people, there can be one but there can’t be two,” the comic actor explained.
“Look, if you’re a minority actor, no one would have wrote [‘Master Of None’] for you. No one would have been like, ‘Hey, how about we get Aziz to do this ten-episode show and have him play this thoughtful character.’ At best they would just write something that’s a character based on the qualities people have seen already like Tom [Haverford],” he adds.
It’s uncomfortable truth, and there are some roles among those that are available, that Ansari just can’t in good conscience touch, such as a part in Michael Bay‘s “Transformers,” which he turned down. “It was a role for like a call-center guy who has an accent. And I was like, ‘No, I’m not doing it.’ And then [friend and costar] Ravi [Patel] was like, ‘I’ll do it.’ And Ravi did it and made some decent money,” Ansari reveals. “And I don’t have anything against someone who does the accent. I understand. You got to work, and some people don’t think it’s a problem.”
“Master Of None” hits Netflix on November 6th. Let us know your thoughts on Ansari’s comments, and check out the “Transformers” role he decided not to do below.