Casting for the supporting characters of Ms. Marvel has been surrounded by controversy since they were announced. Many praised Marvel Studios for casting a Pakistani Muslim actress in the role of Kamala Khan with Iman Vellani, but the same praise didn't come for most of the other cast members.
While Laith Nakli, another Pakistani Muslim, was also cast as Kamala's religious mentor, many were of inappropriate ethnicity. For example, neither of Kamala's parents are played by Pakistani actors, with both played by Indian actors instead.
Another casting controversy was for Nakia, a Turkish Hijabi, who will be played by the non-Hijabi actress Yasmeen Fletcher. Muslim fans are concerned that it would essentially be reducing the religious veil to a costume, which Fletcher has confirmed to be wearing in the show.
Nakia Will Still Have a Hijab in Ms. Marvel
Yasmeen Fletcher, who will play Kamala Khan's best friend Nakia in Ms. Marvel, posted a video on her Instagram discussing the Emmys and the lack of recognition for people of color.
In the comments of this video, one user asked Fletcher, "Do you wear hijab in Ms. Marvel?" to which Fletcher responded, "Yes, I will be:"
"Yes, I will be. This character means so much to me so I look forward to seeing the impact she makes on the younger generation."
Slightly Tone Deaf Commentary
It's a tad ironic with Fletcher discussing proper representation at the Emmys and in the industry, while her casting can be seen as preventing a Hijabi actress from being given an opportunity. It doesn't help that Fletcher is half Lebanese and not a Turkish Muslim like the character she will play in Ms. Marvel.
It can't be said enough how good it is that Kamala Khan was appropriately cast, but that doesn't excuse other characters surrounding her being inappropriately cast. It's unlikely for Fletcher or anyone else to be recast, especially with both of Kamala's parents reappearing in The Marvels.
Hopefully, the show and Fletcher will do their best in portraying Nakia as a character, despite these issues, in Ms. Marvel when fans finally see it on Disney+ in February 2022.