The Marvel Studios Disney Plus streaming series Ms. Marvel has opened a window into Pakistani culture, giving viewers a look at one of mainstream media’s most underrepresented communities. The cast is full of actors and actresses of South Asian origin or heritage, including Aramis Knight, who was introduced as the Red Dagger Kareem in Episode 4.
In an exclusive interview, Knight, who is of Pakistani descent, talked about what it meant to him to be part of a show that brings South Asian culture to the masses in an unprecedented way.
It was amazing. You know growing up I never really had a hero that I looked up to who I felt looked like me who sounded like me who was like me at all. So to be kind of able to be the first is incredible. I have family back home who are just over-the-moon-excited to see me in this show-to see me involved in this at all. Representation is so important and I’m really thankful to kind of be a pioneer of that. It’s the first time in mainstream television that you’re seeing South Asian representation. We’re super thankful for it. Honoring my grandmother in the best way I could think.Aramis Knight
As director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy expressed to us in a separate interview, Ms. Marvel presents audiences with the opportunity to experience South Asian culture through experiences with Kamala Khan and her family, something that, as Knight points out, is uncommon in pop culture. Given the audience response to the show so far, those experiences have served to make the series one of Marvel Studios’ most beloved…and one that fans hope gets a second season renewal sooner rather than later.