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Ramy Youssef Wasn’t Afraid to Break Ricky Gervais's Golden Globes Thank-You Rules

It was a powerful moment of representation

By Lauren Rearick

Ramy Youssef took home the first Golden Globe award of the 2020 ceremony, but he’s already forgiven you if you have no idea who he is.

The star of Hulu’s Ramy, a semi-autobiographical comedy about a Muslim family living in New Jersey, was recognized for Best Actor in a Television Series, Comedy, and his acceptance speech proved charming and important.

Along with cracking jokes about viewers probably thinking he was an editor, the comedian took a moment to thank his God and used the Arabic phrase for "God is the greatest." Wardah Khalid ensured that others on Twitter didn’t miss the powerful tribute, tweeting, “We've got Muslims winning #GoldenGlobes and saying 'Allahu akbar' (God is the greatest) on stage.” Others agreed, writing, “I’m so happy to see a Muslim man winning a major award on TV and thanking God in Arabic” and “So much representation here.”

This was his first Golden Globe nominee and win, and it’s likely the recognition will further catapult Youssef’s career. Following the speech, some on social media pledged to support the creator. “All of a sudden, I want to see Ramy,” one Twitter user wrote.

As he closed his speech, Youssef touched on the importance of the win, noting that the story’s specific focus was on an “Arab Muslim family living in New Jersey.”

The series has received praise from critics for its nuanced representation, an endeavor which was particularly important to Youssef. "In terms of positive media, there's not really a lot,” he told NPR of both Arab and Muslim visibility on TV. “In terms of nuance, there's even less, so there is this weight that kind of sits on something that comes from someone like me, and there's an anxiety that comes with that.” A win at the 2020 Golden Globes is likely just the beginning for Youssef. The comedian is currently working on projects for Apple TV+ and Netflix.