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Mindy Kaling Says She Endured ‘Humiliating’ Discrimination By TV Academy Over ‘Office’ Producer Credit

Unfortunately, racism and sexism know no boundaries — and that means that, occasionally, Hollywood A-listers find themselves on the receiving end, too. Case in point? Mindy Kaling is accusing the TV Academy of discrimination, and not even a rebuttal from the Academy itself can intimidate Kaling into recanting an experience she describes as sexist, racist and “humiliating.”

During an interview with Elle released this week, Kaling shared a particularly troubling memory from her time working on The Office. It was early in her tenure, but there was no denying she had been putting in the work as a producer on the series. So, when the show was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, it stood to reason she would be included in the nomination. However, shortly after the nomination was announced, Kaling said she was approached by the Television Academy and told she’d be cut, as there were too many producers on The Office.

When she protested, she says the Academy singled her out further, asking her (and reportedly no one else) to “fill out a whole form and write an essay about all my contributions as a writer and a producer.” Claimed Kaling, “I had to get letters from all the other white, male producers saying that I had contributed, when my actual record stood for it.” Although Kaling’s name was ultimately included on the list, the show didn’t win that Emmy.

Not surprisingly, the Academy came out with a statement in response to Kaling’s damning accusation. “No one person was singled out,” a TV Academy spokesperson told People. “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.” By their recollection, every performer-producer and writer-producer had to follow the same steps to validate their accomplishments.

Kaling isn’t backing down, though.

In a series of tweets posted on Wednesday afternoon, she defended her original account of the discrimination, saying she never wanted to sully her great experience on The Office by bringing up the incident. She also wasn’t eager to pick a fight with the Academy. “But I worked so hard and it was humiliating,” she pointed out, adding that although she was “rescued” by the other producers on the show, that shouldn’t have to be the case.

“The point is, we shouldn’t have to be bailed out because of the kindness of our more powerful white male colleagues,” Kaling explained. “Not mentioning it seemed like glossing over my story. This was like ten years ago. Maybe it wouldn’t happen now. But it happened to me.” Kaling capped off her series of tweets by reminding the Academy of something very important, especially in this day and age — it’s okay to admit you’ve been wrong in the past and that you’ve since learned from your mistakes. That’s called growth.

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