Mindy Kaling claims the Academy tried to strip her of producer credit on The Office: ‘I was singled out’

Actor, writer and producer was the only woman and only person of colour on the team

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Thursday 10 October 2019 08:58
Scene from US The Office CPR features characters performing CPR to The Bee Gees

Mindy Kaling has lashed out at the organisation behind the Emmy Awards for “humiliating" her by making the star justify her credit as producer on the US series of The Office.

The actor, writer and showrunner claims she was “singled out” as the only woman and only person of colour in the writers’ room who was involved in the incident.

“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 Elle 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 Academy said that, at the time, every actor and writer who also produced was asked to justify their producer credit.

A spokesperson said in a statement to the LA Times: “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.”

However, Kaling has refuted this statement on Twitter, writing: “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 colour. Easiest to dismiss. Just sayin’’.”

Kaling worked on The Office for the duration of its nine-year run, as an actor, writer, director and executive producer.

She said she was reluctant to raise the issue in the interview because “The Office was one of the greatest creative experiences of my life”. She said that "not mentioning it seemed like glossing over [her] story”.

“We shouldn’t have to be bailed out because of the kindness of more powerful white male colleagues,” she tweeted after the interview was published. “This was like 10 years ago. Maybe it won’t happen now. But it happened to me.”

Kaling’s next project Never Have I Ever, which she co-created, wrote and co-executive produced, is scheduled for release on Netflix in 2020.

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