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TV Academy Responds to Mindy Kaling ‘The Office’ Comment, Says She Wasn’t Singled Out for Emmy Vetting

Variety logo Variety 6 days ago Michael Schneider
Mindy Kaling who is smiling and looking at the camera © David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Mindy Kaling was a writer on “The Office” from the show’s start, in addition to appearing on camera as Dunder Mifflin staffer Kelly Kapoor. But in a recent interview with Elle magazine, Kaling said that she had to fight to be initially be included among the producers listed by the Television Academy for the show.

“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,” she told the magazine. “I had to get letters from all the other male, white producers saying that I had contributed, when my actual record stood for itself.”

The Television Academy, however, has responded by saying the rule in place at that time required every producer to submit a form explaining their producer bona fides. The exercise came following concerns that too many ineligible producers, such as those not involved in the day-to-day production of series, were being included among the crowd accepting awards on stage.

“No one person was singled out,” the TV Academy said in a statement. “There was an increasing concern years ago regarding the number of performers and writers seeking producer credits. 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. 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.”

Others that were vetted that year were executive producers Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Howard Klein; co-executive producers Paul Lieberstein, Jennifer Celotta, Michael Schur, Kent Zbornak and Teri Weinberg; and supervising producer B.J. Novak. (Lieberstein and Novak were also regular on-camera performers on “The Office.”) It’s unclear, however, whether Kaling was asked to provide additional materials beyond what the other producers were required to submit.

In response to the TV Academy statement, Kaling added on Twitter, “Respectfully, the Academy’s statement doesn’t make any sense. I *was* singled out. 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’s name was ultimately included as a producer for Emmy consideration, and was part of “The Office” team nominated five times for outstanding comedy series. Kaling was also nominated in 2010 for outstanding writing in a comedy, along with Greg Daniels, for the episodes “Niagara: Part 1” and “Niagara: Part 2.”

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Related video: Mindy Kaling Discusses Updating The Office for 2019 (Provided by E! News):

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