From 'Gandhi look-alike' to fire-eater, Kal Penn reveals Hollywood's racist side
He tweeted audition scripts from his early career which included roles in shows like 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch' and 'The Simpsons'.
The Indian-origin actor slammed racist and stereotypical Hollywood for reducing Indian characters in movies to cheap caricatures. The star of Jhumpa Lahiri's 'The Namesake' said that he was often asked to make his accent more "authentic", which always meant that they wanted Apu from 'The Simpsons'.
Jeez I remember this one! They were awful. "Can you make his accent a little more AUTHENTIC?" That usually meant they wanted Apu pic.twitter.com/3F5XRORO3n— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) March 14, 2017
The former White House associate director of public engagement in Barack Obama's first administration went on to expose scripts from shows (including 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch' and 'King of Queens') and ads he had auditioned for.
Found a bunch of old scripts from some of my first years trying to be an actor. pic.twitter.com/GydOwlUKGW— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) March 14, 2017
Referring to another audition, for a character named Prajeeb in 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch', Penn said, "We got into it about why he had to have an accent."
This was a pilot called The Stones. Tried to convince them to let me speak without an accent & make it funny on the merits (was told no) 😂 pic.twitter.com/SuUVYT7rip— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) March 14, 2017
Penn is best known for roles in 'How I Met Your Mother' and 'Harold & Kumar Get The Munchies'.
Friggin King of Queens man! I used to love that show until I got to audition for it lol pic.twitter.com/2BYu0nnd57— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) March 14, 2017
Sabrina the Teenage Witch! Man. We got INTO it about why he had to have an accent. I'm laughing about it now but they were such dicks 😂 pic.twitter.com/kXdHjVsqvT— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) March 14, 2017
Whoa I remember this! This was one of my first commercials. The makeup people would use Vaseline to get the sweaty unwashed look going pic.twitter.com/X7z4EI4drQ— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) March 14, 2017
Ha! In this audition for Smart Guy, they didn't even give the character a name! pic.twitter.com/z2D8E5rx8J— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) March 14, 2017
There are too many in this stack to tweet, I'll be here all day. That said, there were also some wonderful 1st audition & work experiences!— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) March 14, 2017