One of TV’s smartest and most complex dramas, Counterpart is a spy thriller that examines how our surroundings and choices shape us as people. Created, written, and executive produced by Justin Marks, the series tells the compelling story of a mysterious world hidden beneath the surface of our everyday existence. Each person has a “counterpart” in this parallel world, which begs the question, who would we become under a different set of circumstances?

Set in Berlin’s UN Office of Interchange (OI), the show explores themes of identity, loyalty, fate, love, and freedom. Largely due to its inclusive writers room, Counterpart features an inherently diverse cast devoid of cliches or stereotypes. Season 2 brings us the character Naya Temple (Betty Gabriel), a Muslim former FBI agent hired by the OI to sniff out any spies from the other world. While she is clearly Muslim - we see her praying and talking about her faith - her character doesn’t conform to the usual media portrayals we see. Naya is a multifaceted, strong, highly skilled professional who doesn’t cover her hair and is not defined by her relation to a man. That is the exact opposite of what we usually see on screen, and why this character and series are so impactful. Audiences need to see a broader range of what Muslims really look like.

We are so pleased to honor Counterpart for shifting the narrative toward more inclusive portrayals of Muslims on screen.

“Having Temple not be a hijabi, a practicing Muslim and be an African-American Muslim woman is amazing. That’s what we need to see more of: the different flavors and colors of what Muslims look like.”

— Sue Obeidi, Director of the MPAC Hollywood Bureau


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