Mindy Kaling Claims The Emmys Tried To Discredit Her Work On ‘The Office’

Mindy Kaling famously played Kelly Kapoor on The Office, a role that ultimately helped to launch her career with The Mindy Project and other notable works of television and film. Yet the comedy actress also produced and wrote for the Emmy Award-winning NBC sitcom, and in a recent interview with Elle, she claims the Television Academy tried to discredit her work on the show during one of the years it was nominated in the Outstanding Comedy Series category. An academy spokesperson has since refuted Kaling’s claim, but she’s standing by it.

Speaking with Elle, Kaling said the Television Academy informed her “they were going to cut her from the list” of nominated producers since “there were too many” listed. As a result of an apparently quantitative problem, “the only woman of color on the team” wasn’t going to “be eligible for an Emmy like the rest of the staff.” Kaling said she had to “fill out a whole form and write an essay about all my contributions as a writer and a producer,” as well as “get letters from all the other male, white producers saying that I had contributed,” in order to justify her inclusion.

As the Elle interview began picking up steam, the Los Angeles Times reached out to the Television Academy for comment. “No one person was singled out,” said a spokesperson. They added that because of “an increasing concern years ago regarding the number of performers and writers seeking producer credits,” “every performer producer and writer producer was asked to justify their producer credits.”

Kaling rebuffed the spokesperson’s claims on Twitter, saying she was “singled out” since “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.” She later noted she “never wanted to bring up that incident because The Office was one of the greatest creative experiences of my life,” but stood by her initial comments to Elle.

(Via Elle and Los Angeles Times)