The Office actors Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey hit back at the Television Academy on Thursday, supporting their former costar Mindy Kaling, who alleged that the group behind the Emmys tried to prevent her from getting a producer credit on the hit NBC series.
Fischer, who appeared on BuzzFeed News' AM to DM to promote her and Kinsey's podcast, Office Ladies, said she wasn't aware of Kaling's experience but said she was "so glad that she spoke up and said something."
"Yeah, because that's crap," Kinsey added.
Kaling told Elle magazine earlier this month that when the show received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series, she was told too many producers were on the list and that she would be axed, which meant the only woman of color on the team would not be eligible for the award despite having earned the recognition.
The incident happened early in Kaling's time on the series, which ran for nine seasons.
In order to rectify the issue, Kaling said the Television Academy "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." Kaling told the magazine she had to "get letters from all the other male, white producers saying that I had contributed, when my actual record stood for itself."
Fischer didn't hold back when defending Kaling, making some interesting points about how the process played out.
"I saw that there was a response from the Academy that said something like because she had multiple roles on the show it flagged her," Fischer told BuzzFeed News. "And I think my response would be, well, so did BJ Novak, Mike Schur, and so did Paul Lieberstein. They were all writer-producer-performers on the show so I guess I would say, so why single out Mindy and not those gentlemen?"
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, the Television Academy maintained that no one was "singled out," adding 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."
The organization said that many people were "asked to justify their producer credits."
In a series of tweets addressing the drama last week, Kaling said the Academy's response didn't make any sense.
"There were other Office writer-performer-producers who were NOT cut from the list. Just me," she said. "The most junior person, and woman of color. Easiest to dismiss. Just sayin’."
Kaling said she never brought the incident up previously because of the Television Academy's influence, but said it was "humiliating" to have her hard work overlooked "because they couldn’t fathom I was capable of doing it all."