While she’s now an established comedy superstar, Mindy Kaling recently told Elle about the hoops she had to jump through to be recognized as a producer of “The Office” (television’s most streamed show to date) in order to be considered for an Emmy nomination.
The six-time Emmy nominee was a writer on the American version of “The Office” since its start, and also portrayed Dunder Mifflin employee Kelly Kapoor. But according to her interview with Elle, she was the only member of the production team who had to fill out forms proving she should be included as a producer for the Emmy consideration — and that all of her co-writers and producers on the show just happened to be white men.
“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 tells 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 issued a response, stating filling out the forms was due to a rule at the time that was introduced because of too many people wanting credit for something they didn’t participate in on a day-to-day basis.
“No one person was singled out,” the Academy said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
It didn’t take long for Kaling to issue a response to the Academy’s statement, issuing a series of tweets insisting that the statement “doesn’t make any sense” and that she “*was* singled out.”
Kaling’s “Office” co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey are behind her 100 per cent, and made their opinion clear during a recent appearance on BuzzFeed News “AM to DM” YouTube talk show.
Insisting they didn’t know about it at the time, Fischer declared, “I’m so glad that she spoke up and said something about it.”
“Because that’s… that’s, um, crap,” Kinsey added.
Fischer went on to point out that she recalled Kaling being flagged “because she had multiple roles” on the show, but pointed out that several other writers were also producers and performers on the show. “So I guess I would say, why single out Mindy and not those gentlemen?”
The duo’s comments on Kaling come just before the four-minute mark in the video below.
Other writers, producers and co-stars of “The Office” to be vetted that year included executive producers Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Howard Klein, and Kaling’s co-star B.J. Novak.
Kaling was ultimately included as a producer for Emmy consideration, and went on to create, write and star in the hit sitcom “The Mindy Project”, along with several other successful projects.