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Old 05-05-2020, 04:23 PM   #2
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"Designated Survivor" Actor Responds to Netflix Pulling an Episode in Turkey
by Scott Roxborough

The actor whose performance as a fictional Turkish president on Netflix's "Designated Survivor" has led to a real-life political row has weighed in on the controversy.

Netflix last week removed season 2 episode 7 of the political thriller series from its Turkish service after the government in Ankara claimed the show, in which Troy Caylak plays a villainous, fictional Turkish leader called Fatih Turan, violated its censorship laws.

Netflix's policy is always to comply with local law.

In the episode, entitled "Famiy Ties," Turan comes under fire from the country’s opposition while he is in the U.S. to attend a NATO Summit to meet with U.S. President Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland).

"In light of the recent news publications regarding the Designated Survivor season 2 episode 7 takedown in Turkey, I felt that it was important to shed my perspective on the subject," Caylak wrote in an email sent to The Hollywood Reporter.

"I’m a U.S.-born citizen and extremely grateful to be a working actor and screenwriter in Hollywood. Although I am very proud of my rich Turkish culture and heritage, my taking the role of a fictional Turkish president on an episode of a hit TV show was in no way motivated by the desire to make a political statement."

Caylak said the role of Fatih Turan was a "career-lifting" opportunity and "a very proud moment for me, my family and my community, regardless of any political views."

He acknowledged criticism that the role was that a of stereotypical Middle Eastern baddy. "For better or worse, the fast-paced ‘business of show’ pivots on the ability to cast ‘types’ based largely on physical characteristics, and mine happen to fall in a certain category of character," Caylak wrote, noting that such roles are "bread and butter to a working actor."

Commenting on Turkey's censorship of the episode, Caylak said he was "naturally disappointed by the decision to have this, or any episode, censored from the series. When I took the role, I was cautioned by Turkish friends that it may have certain repercussions, [but] to me, it is a fictional role in a fictional series that relies on heightened drama to tell its stories and entertain its audience, and I approached this role, as I do every role, to responsibly and honestly portray this character in service to the storyline.

Those who know me know that I do not bring my political views to the set, although I readily confess a love of all things Turkish, including the food – doner kebab is my favorite – ice cream, music and the soul of my people.
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