Kal Penn’s 90s audition scripts highlight racism in Hollywood

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In a series of tweets, Penn shared almost 10 scripts that offers only stereotypical roles.

Kal Penn (Courtesy of twitter)

Indian American actor Kal Penn actor Kal Penn on Tuesday took to twitter and shared some of the racist audition scripts he was given at the beginning of his career.

Penn, who is best known for his roles in Harold & Kumar, House and How I Met Your Mother, shared almost 10 scripts that offers only stereotypical roles to the Indian American actor.

“Found a bunch of old scripts from some of my first years trying to be an actor,” Penn tweeted and shared the script that offers the roles of a Gandhi lookalike, snake charmers and fire eaters.

“They were awful,” he added. “’Can you make this accent a little more AUTHENTIC?’ That usually meant they wanted Apu.”

Penn, who served in the White House under Obama administration, recalled his role as a pilot named Parmesh in The Stone for which he tried to convince the makers to allow him to speak without an accent but was told no.

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He also admitted that he used to love the CBS show The King of Queens until he was auditioned for it. Penn also recollects one of his first commercials in which he played the role of a 25-year-old Pakistani computer geek.

“Whoa I remember this! This was one of my first commercials. The makeup people would use Vaseline to get the sweaty unwashed look going,” he wrote.



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“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!” he continued and praised shows like ‘24’, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, ‘The Steve Harvey Show’ and ‘Angel’ that “didn’t have to use external things to mask subpar writing.”

Penn also gave a shout out to House creator David Shore, who practiced color- and gender-blind casting, describing the ways Hollywood can be progressive.