Mindy Kaling slammed the Television Academy after it denied discriminating against her when it nearly cut her from the producers list on ‘The Office’ ahead of the Emmys years ago. But there was one part of the academy’s comments that she liked.
Kaling expanded on her thoughts at Elle’s 26th Annual Women in Hollywood celebration at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, crediting the academy for accepting that the rules that led to her experience were flawed and in need of change — even if it didn’t accept her personal truth.
“I was happy to see that they acknowledged that this policy of making and vetting young people to defend why they needed to be getting the credit that they already had, that they’ve stopped doing that and making writer-performers not go through an extra level of scrutiny,” Kaling said.
In a recent Elle cover story, Kaling said that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences had forced her alone among ‘The Office’ staffers to prove her contributions as a producer for the chance to win a 2007 Emmy, bolstered by letters from white male counterparts who vouched for her work on the comedy. She was the only woman of colour on the producing team.
“There won’t be a situation now, in the future, where the one youngest woman of colour is told that she can’t receive the same award as her white coworkers,” Kaling said on Monday.
During the ceremony, Kaling received much love from her fellow women in entertainment, especially her ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ costar Reese Witherspoon. The ‘Big Little Lies’ star gushed over the ‘Mindy Project’ and ‘Late Night’ mastermind’s many accomplishments before presenting her with her honour, acknowledging the obstacles she surmounted along the way.
“This thing we say to kids, ‘You can’t be it if you can’t see it.’ Well, Mindy didn’t see it growing up,” Witherspoon said. “She didn’t see herself represented on television shows or in her favourite ‘SNL’ or in her favourite romantic comedies or sci-fi movies. She didn’t see herself in the publishing world, and she really didn’t see herself on the cover of magazines. So she asked herself, ‘Why not me?’ And she became it.”