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Mindy Kaling Opens Up About Being Unfairly Singled Out By The TV Academy During Her Early Days On ‘The Office’

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She’s one of the most successful—and beloved—women in Hollywood, but if you think her talent has made it come easy for Mindy Kaling, think again.

In a recent interview with Elle, Kaling opened up about nearly being stripped of her Emmy eligiblity during her tenure at the iconic NBC comedyThe Office.

Kaling, who was an actress, executive producer, director and writer on the show (which is a lot to just type, let alone do), nearly had her producer credit stripped by the Television Academy, which would have made her ineligible for any Best Comedy Series wins.

The Academy asserted that there were simply too many people in the credits for the series, but it was Kaling, and only Kaling—the sole woman of color on the team—who was singled out for scrutiny—and was forced to be vetted by her white, male colleagues.

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Kaling told Elle:

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

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But the Television Academy disputes her claims, saying that under the policies in place at the time, all producers were forced to prove their credentials.

In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, the Academy explained:

“No one person was singled out… 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…”

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But Kaling wasn’t buying it, because none of her other The Office colleagues was submitted to the same vetting even though they were also performer/producers.

Kaling went on to post a short Twitter thread further detailing the incident—including the risk she was taking by speaking out.

Kaling also said she found the whole thing “humiliating.”

And she further underlined the unequal treatment minorities so often receive in Hollywood.

As for the rest of the internet, they were pretty firmly on Team Kaling!

And the story prompted other women of color to relate their own similar experiences.

Moral of the story? Don’t mess with Mindy Kaling.

After all, she is the business bi*ch.

Most people know Kaling from The Office, but she’s the star of another hit show. The Mindy Project: Season One is available here.

Have you listened to the first season of George Takei’s podcast, ‘Oh Myyy Pod!‘?

In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.

We’re hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss it when it goes live.

Here’s one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!


Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, video producer and performer originally from Michigan, and is one of those people who says he "lived in London for a while" even though it was only six weeks for study abroad. He made Ellen DeGeneres laugh once so you should probably follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Medium, where he does a lot of yelling under the name @JohntheCraptist.