She says that she fought for producer eligibility.

By Christopher Luu
Oct 09, 2019 @ 7:30 pm

In a new interview, Mindy Kaling states that during her time on The Office, where she worked as a writer, a producer, and an actor, the Television Academy made her jump through extra hoops to ensure that she really was a producer. Her male counterparts, she said, didn't have to face the same hurdles. 

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

Rich Fury/Getty Images

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The Academy issued a statement refuting Kaling's statement, saying that the Producers Guild and the Television Academy were simply working together to ensure that everyone was getting credit where credit was due. Variety notes that the forms and extra processes were put in place when there was growing concern that people that were credited as producers weren't actually involved in the day-to-day production of a show.

"No one person was singled out," the TV Academy said via a statement. "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."

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Kaling responded on Twitter, writing, "Respectfully, the Academy's statement doesn’t make any sense. 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 color. Easiest to dismiss. Just sayin'."

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According to Variety, the list of individuals that had to be vetted the same year as Kaling included "executive producers Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Howard Klein," as well as "co-executive producers Paul Lieberstein, Jennifer Celotta, Michael Schur, Kent Zbornak and Teri Weinberg; and supervising producer B.J. Novak."

Kaling did end up being included on the list of producers that year and went on to be nominated five times for Outstanding Comedy Series for her work on The Office. She was also nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy in 2010.

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