SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — Indian American actor and writer Aasif Mandvi is on Indiegogo raising money to produce his first original TV series, a sitcom parody called “Halal in the Family.”
“Through my work at ‘The Daily Show,’ I’ve covered way too many stories that reveal the depth of prejudice against Muslims in the United States,” he writes.
“‘Halal in the Family’ will expose a broad audience to some of the realities of being Muslim in America. By using satire we will encourage people to reconsider their assumptions about Muslims, while providing a balm to those experiencing anti-Muslim bias. I also hope those Uncles and Aunties out there will crack a smile!”
A star commentator on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Mandvi is the writer-director of the hit off-Broadway play “Sakina’s Restaurant” and the film “Today’s Special,” and his film credits include Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm.” He is currently promoting “No Land’s Man,” his collection of autobiographical essays, and acting in an HBO series, “The Brink,” set to debut this June.
“Halal in the Family” started its crowdfunding campaign with a request for $20,000 to cover production costs, and has already raised almost $30,000 as of press time. The additional money will go toward promotion, he said. The campaign ends at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 9.
At first, the show will consist of four episodes, each focused on a different challenge faced by Muslims in America. “The themes, which were identified by Muslim and civil rights organizations, include surveillance and spying in Muslim communities; online bullying and hate networks; media bias; and the use of anti-Muslim prejudice for political gain,” he said.
Mandvi is working with organizations such as South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), ACCESS/National Network for Arab American Communities, Center for New Community and others. The cast features Sakina Jaffrey with guest star appearances from Samantha Bee, Jordan Klepper and Tariq (Black Thought) Trotter.
Watch a trailer and check out the campaign here: bit.ly/halal-indiegogo, or follow Mandvi on Twitter @aasif.