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July 16, 2003

ABC Diversifies

From: Hartford Courant, CT - Jul 16, 2003

Among the large cast of "Threat Matrix," ABC's upcoming drama on fighting terrorists, there are a few who break the TV mold.

"I'm going to be the first Arab-American Muslim character on television that's a good guy," Anthony Azizi says.

Shoshannah Stern is one of the first deaf actresses in a series who tries to play down the deafnesss.

"So far, almost all of the deaf characters that I've seen are characters about what? About deafness or about their deafnes, how they handle their issues of deafness, how other people accept their deafness," Stern says. For this character, "deafness is just part of the package."

And Mahershalalhashbaz Ali may possibly have the longest name of an actor in TV history. "I used to go by the abbreviated version. I used to go by Mahershala or Mahershalal," he says. But, he adds, "My mother was brave enough to name me that, so I wanted to take that on." is Copyright © 2003 by The Hartford Courant