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Does Mena Massoud's Lack of Success Say Something About Him or Hollywood?

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  • Tip Bones

If you don't know, Mena Massoud is the actor who recently portrayed Aladdin in the live-action remake of the titular film. If you did know that, then you probably didn't know that he hasn't had a single audition for any film or other project since before the film came out. 

That's right. Where people think a big box-office hitter like Aladdin would catapult the young actor into stardom, that is not the case. This begs the question: does the fact that he has not seen success since say more about him or the industry?

In revealing his emotions regarding this situation, he is potentially not being painted in the best light. It comes across as though he is playing the victim that big, bad Hollywood should take pity on because 'come on he played Aladdin!' That warrants him getting anything he wants right? No, of course not.

This could easily be a situation of entitlement, in which a young actor had unfortunate expectations that projects would just be handed to him because he was the star of one huge film. Maybe he's the type of person to not put in the work and then complain that he's not getting opportunities left, right, and center.

Now don't go thinking I'm unfairly assuming things about the man because I completely acknowledge I don't know him as a person and this could be entirely false, but the media has a way of painting a lot of situations negatively, even if unintentionally.

Because here's our other option: this situation may be saying something about Hollywood that we already know and could be perpetuating the problem of racism/lack of representation in film.

We know representation and diversity has long been an issue in Hollywood and while things are moving in the right direction, they are moving painfully slowly in the right direction. There's a good chance this talented young actor may not even make it in the door to auditions simply because people aren't interested in casting the Canadian-Egyptian actor because of his race. 

It's really hard to find truth among the lies and gossip inherent in the Hollywood culture. So unless more comes of his statements, we won't ever really know if Hollywood is hindering his potential due to racial prejudice or because the actor himself may not have the drive that's expected in Hollywood. What do you think?

Original Buzzfeed article with quotes from the actor.

Image owned by Disney.

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