Chuck Lorre has been a household name in the smaller screen thanks to his works on popular series such as Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly and Mom. While his latest sitcom, United States of Al, is set to hit CBS next month, the TV show is already facing backlash from cast members as well as the handling of the show’s main character.
In case you aren’t familiar with the premise of the show, United States of Al stars Adhir Kalyan as Awalmir, an interpreter from Afghanistan who arrives in the states to start a new life. However, the trailer attracted criticisms due to the main character’s casting choice. The central character of the show will be reprised by Kalyan, who’s a native of South Africa and was born to an Indian family.
Following the release of the trailer, in a tweet, journalist and host Dean Obeidallah said, “There are many issues with United States of Al – but one of the most glaring is not casting an Afghan actor to play the starring role of the translator from Afghanistan. Hollywood has long mocked/demonized Muslims without even casting Muslims to play the role.”
Broadway star Pia Glenn said, “Please don’t fall for this utter bullshit. We’re supposed to believe that “after a sweeping global search,” they not only could NOT find an Afghan actor, but somehow magically landed on a series regular from a previous Chuck Lorre sitcom on CBS?”
We’ll have to wait to find out if the show becomes a success. United States of Al premieres on CBS on April 1.