Kal Penn Not "Missing" from White House Gig
Kal Penn, who famously stepped away from his role on Fox's top-rated House to go work for the White House, has not stood up President Obama.
Though one entertainment blog has intimated that the actor's gig as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement has failed to materialize, the fact is that Penn, from the day he announced his new opportunity, has described his start date as "up in the air."
A spokesperson for Penn tells TVGuide.com the actor is currently in India finishing Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, a Ravi Kumar-directed indie he's been filming with Martin Sheen and Mischa Barton.
Then, sometime this summer — a specific date has not yet been set — Penn will show up for work at the Old Executive Office Building down the street from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Of the Office of Public Engagement (which until very recently known as the Office of Public Liaison), Penn has said its mission it to "try and take the Administration itself out of Washington. They go into communities across the country, continue the dialogue that people had started during the campaign, and basically assure that a bunch of different citizens' views ... are brought to the table - Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between." The actor has likened it to the work he did on behalf of Obama's 2008 election campaign.
Specifically, Penn will be primarily working with the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) and arts communities, Shin Inouye, the White House director of Specialty Media, tells TVGuide.com. The latter group includes groups such as the New England Arts Foundation.