He advocates for minority rights and against racism but it seems, there’s something amiss when it comes to Riz Ahmed compensating people with what they are due fairly.
Riz came under fire on Monday when the social media erupted with news of how the artist had failed to compensate a Pakistani wrestler who had featured in his music video Mogambo.
As news has it, Rashid Gujjar Pehlewan, the wrestler who featured in the video, was allegedly not even informed that his shots were to be used for Riz Ahmed’s music video Mogambo.
The Pehlewan was promised a payment of 45,000 rupees after an initial payment of 15,000 rupees. However, now the Pehlewan has accused Ahmed of only paying the initial payment of 15, 000 and disappearing thereafter.
Following the release of the video, the Pehelwan had no idea that his shots had been used for a music video with views in hundred thousands. In fact it was Awais Khalid, a research associate at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) was the first person to tell the Pehlewan that his shots had been featured in a music video.
On Twitter, Khalid wrote: “No one from @rizmc’s (Riz Ahmed) team felt it necessary to share the video with the man who played the central role. Rashid told me that he had been messaging to ask for photos that they had taken of him but no one from their team had even bothered to reply to him.”
“Rashid Pehlwan (pictured on this album cover) played a significant role in the music video, but he was not fairly compensated for his time and was instead made to sign a questionable contract AFTER the shoot,” wrote Khalid.
In a Twitter thread Awais Khalid goes on to narrate Rashid Pehelwan’s tale and how he had been misinformed and exploited in the entire process by Riz Ahmed, who had also publicized his involvement in making the video on American television.
Although Riz Ahmed, on the show, denied having personally known Rashid Pehlewan. But he continues to have a picture of Rashid Pehlewan on his Instagram, saying: “This is traditional Pakistani wrestler aka ‘pehlvaan’, Rashid. Met him on my trip to Lahore this year.”
The purpose as Awais Khalid states of his thread is how people from low socio-economic status are being misused and misinformed about how profitable their labor could prove to be for someone with the reach and influence like Riz Ahmed enjoys. It is not a matter of big money but Awais has been trying to get in touch with the Venom actor for some time now, but to no avail. Ahmed has also refused to comment on the matter.