Patriot Act star Hasan Minhaj made the Time 100 gala more than a performance, calling on presidential advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner to use his influence with Saudi Arabia to free an imprisoned women’s rights activist.
Minhaj, who has had his own confrontations with Saudi Arabian politics, having an episode pulled by Netflix that was critical of the regime, called on Kushner to talk to Crown Price Mohammad bin Salman (aka MBS) about Loujain al-Hathloul, who has campaigned to end the women’s driving ban in the kingdom and has been jailed and tortured.
The Minhaj jabs at Kushner, who was in attendance at the gala, were first reported by PageSix’s Emily Smith.
“I know there’s a lot of very powerful people here, and it would be crazy if there was a high-ranking official in the White House that could WhatsApp MBS and say, ‘Hey maybe you could help that person get out of prison because they don’t deserve it,’” Minhaj said. “But hey, that person would have to be in the room. It’s just a good comedy premise.”
Kushner has been communicating with MBS over WhatsApp, which some claim is a breach of federal law.
Kushner told PageSix that he has spoken to MBS about Saudi responsibilities in the war of the Jamal Khashoggi murder and the jailing of al-Hathiout. “I will continue to put pressure on privately,” he said.