Mindy Kaling is speaking out against the Television Academy after the organization behind the Primetime Emmys allegedly tried to shaft her during an early season of The Office. Kaling not only played Kelly Kapoor on the hit NBC series, but was a writer and producer on the sitcom as well. According to her, the Academy was slow to recognize that work when it came to recognizing the series.
In an interview with Elle, published Wednesday morning, Kaling claimed that the academy tried to remove her from the producer list for the show when it was nominated for an Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy in 2007. The move would have made her ineligible to accept a potential Emmy should the series win.
"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 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."
Kaling, who was the only woman of color on the team at the time, continued the conversation in a Twitter thread after the interview was published online. She praised The Office as one of the greatest creative experiences of her life and admits the situation with the academy was 10 years ago, but she felt that her story had been glossed over.
The Television Academy, in a statement to the Los Angeles Times, said that no one was singled out. "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," said a spokesman for the Academy. "Every performer-producer and writer-producer was asked to justify their producer credits."
Although that justification is no longer required, the academy does vet consulting-producer credits. Kaling responded to the academy's statement on Twitter, saying she was, in fact, singled out.
"Respectfully, the Academy's statement doesn't make any sense. 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."