Mindy Kaling accuses TV academy of trying to discredit her 'Office' work
Posted October 10, 2019 11:02 a.m. EDT
CNN — Mindy Kaling has accused the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences of singling her out.
The actress almost missed out on being nominated about a decade ago for an Emmy for her work on "The Office" after the academy, which runs the awards show, tried to cut her from the list of the show's producers, Kaling told Elle magazine.
In addition to being one of the stars of the hit NBC series, which ran for nine seasons until 2013, Kaling was also one of the writers and a co-producer.
She was also the only woman of color among the producers listed in Emmy contention, she said.
The academy told Kaling there were too many producers listed when the show was nominated for an Outstanding Comedy Series category, she said.
"They made me, not any of the other producers, fill out a whole form and write an essay about all my contributions as a writer and a producer," Kaling said. "I had to get letters from all the other male, white producers saying that I had contributed, when my actual record stood for itself."
An academy spokesperson denied that, saying, "No one person was singled out."
"There was an increasing concern years ago regarding the number of performers and writers seeking producer credits," according to a statement to CNN and other news agencies. "At the time the Producers Guild worked with the Television Academy to correctly vet producer eligibility.
"Every performer producer and writer producer was asked to justify their producer credits," it continued. "We no longer require this justification from performer producers and writer producers, but we do continue to vet Consulting Producer credits with the PGA to ensure those credited are actually functioning in the role as a producer."
But Kaling's not buying it.
"Respectfully, the Academy's statement doesn't make any sense," she tweeted Wednesday.
"I *was* singled out," she wrote. "There were other Office writer-performer-producers who were NOT cut from the list. Just me. The most junior person, and woman of color. Easiest to dismiss. Just sayin'."
Kaling in another series of tweets explained that she "never wanted to bring up that incident because The Office was one of the greatest creative experiences of my life, and who would want to have an adversarial relationship with the Academy, who has the ongoing power to enhance our careers with awards?"
She spoke out 10 years later because the episode was "humiliating" and she doesn't feel like women of color in the industry should "have be bailed out because of the kindness our more powerful white male colleagues," Kaling wrote.
"Hey, @TelevisionAcad! I have been a proud member for years. I was the 1st woman of color nominated for writing a comedy script," Kaling tweeted. "Why not say "years ago we prevented a deserving woman of color from getting credit for her accomplishments. We're sorry and it would never happen now."?"