The organization that hosts the Emmy Awards show responded Thursday to Mindy Kaling’s claims that early on in her career, it attempted to remove her producer credit from “The Office.” She was the only female producer of color on the show at the time.
In an interview with Elle published Wednesday, Kaling claimed that the Television Academy approached her after the show’s Emmy nomination to tell her she would be cut from the producing credits. She added that in order to prove herself worthy of a credit, the academy mandated that only she, “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.”
“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, who was ultimately added to the final list of credits, told the outlet.
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A spokesperson for the academy told NBC News that 41 producers across several programs were required to justify their credits, including at least two others from “The Office,” Paul Lieberstein and B.J. Novak.
“The academy has the utmost respect for Ms. Kaling and her work, and we regret if she felt singled out,” the spokesperson said. “But we do not believe that was the case.”
The organization had provided an earlier statement to The Los Angeles Times, noting that 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.”
Shortly afterward, the actress responded through a series of tweets, claiming that the “Academy’s statement doesn’t make any sense” before doubling down on her earlier claim.