Mindy Kaling Calls Out The Emmys For Excluding Her In Favour Of The Office‘s White Male Staff

Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic.
Mindy Kaling was excluded from being considered for an Emmy nomination for her producing work on The Office, the actress claimed in a new interview with Elle.  
Early into Kaling’s time working as a writer, producer, and actress on the hit NBC sitcom, The Office was nominated for an Outstanding Comedy Emmy. While all the other writers were nominated as producers, Kaling was left off the list as the Television Academy, which runs the Emmys, claimed there were “too many producers” for Kaling to also be considered. Kaling was the only woman of colour in the room, and to fight the decision, she had to jump through numerous hoops.  
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“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 Elle of how her name ultimately got put on the Emmys list. “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 clarified her comments on Twitter in a lengthy thread on Wednesday. She said that The Office was “one of the greatest creative experiences” of her life, which was one of the reasons she stayed quiet about an incident that occurred a decade earlier. She added that she “worked so hard” and that it was “humiliating” for the Academy to “discard” her hard work because they didn’t think she was “capable of doing it all.”
Kaling credited her friends, the other producers on The Office, for having her back, but noted that women shouldn’t have to “be bailed out because of the kindness our more powerful white male colleagues.”
“Not mentioning it seemed like glossing over my story,” Kaling wrote on Twitter. “This was like [10] years ago. Maybe it wouldn’t happen now. But it happened to me.”
The Television Academy denies Kaling’s accusations.
“No one person was singled out,” a spokesperson for the Television Academy said in a statement to Refinery29. “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. 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.”
Kaling is one of the biggest success stories to come out of The Office. Following her time on the show — on which she portrayed fan favourite Kelly Kapoor — Kaling went on to create The Mindy Project, which ran for six seasons between Fox and Hulu. Since the show’s end in 2017, Kaling has produced several film and TV projects, including Hulu’s TV adaptation of Four Weddings and a Funeral and the recent feature film Late Night, which she wrote, produced, and starred in
“I’m treated badly with enough regularity that it keeps me humble,” Kaling told Elle of situations like the one with the Emmys. “I am grateful, because I do think it keeps me feeling like an outsider, which is helpful as a writer.”
Now, Kaling is using her “outsider” perspective to help bring more representation to media. She is working on the upcoming Netflix series Never Have I Ever, which stars newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and is inspired by Kaling’s childhood. It could even be the project that scores Kaling that well-deserved Emmy.
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