"They chose to exclude the only majority-immigrant cast & writers room in town," Penn shared on Twitter in reaction to his NBC series being exempt from the panel.
NBC's Sunnyside, co-created and starring Kal Penn and executive produced by Mike Schur, boasts a diverse gathering of talent, including Diana-Maria Riva, Joel Kim Booster, Kiran Deol, Poppy Liu, and Samba Schutte.
When the Television Academy hosted a special event on Tuesday evening titled "Immigration on Television: Stories from America" and Sunnyside was not a part of the conversation, the actor shared his frustration on Twitter.
"So glad @TelevisionAcad did a panel on immigration & TV, + disappointed they chose to exclude the only majority-immigrant cast & writers room in town. Proud of what we're accomplishing @NBCSunnyside. Immigrant & POC points of view are important to our stories, the art, & comedy," Penn wrote.
Sunnyside follows Penn as a disgraced New York City councilman who is hired by a group of people studying to become American citizens. Having underperformed on air during its first season, the series will finish its 11-episode run on NBC.com, the NBC app and other digital platforms.
The Academy described its immigration-focused event as one that would "bring together content creators, actors and writers to share their unforgettable stories about portraying all sides of the immigrant experience in America, and seeing how their stories compare to real life."
Actors included in the discussion were Melinna Bobadilla of Orange is the New Black and Little America, Nico Santos of Superstore, and Gina Yashere of Bob Abishola. Bruce Helford, showrunner and executive producer of The Conners, and Noelle Stewart, entertainment media manager of Define American, were also a part of the panel, which was moderated by NBC News and MSNBC Correspondent Jacob Soboroff.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is going virtual , at least that seems to be the message in an email sent to the entire AMPAS membership Friday night from President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson.
Photo by Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock
The measures have actually been taking place since Wednesday, including all scheduled screenings for membership in New York which had been cancelled until further notice. The same was not necessary for Los Angeles which was not set to resume regular screenings for members until April. As just about every other studio, agency, production company – you name it – AMPAS is emphasizing they are following guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control CDC and World Health Organization WHO and asking staffers to try and work from home and are encouraging all members to avoid visiting any AMPAS facility including NY, London , and buildings in Los Angeles that would include Hollywood and Beverly Hills. All in person meetings have now moved to conference calls or Zoom video conference according to the Academy message to membership. Also , as is the case elsewhere, all non-essential travel, tours, public screenings and events have been cancelled for at least the rest of March. For various committee meetings, the AMPAS branch says liaisons will be in touch to set up virtual meeting dates for the time being.
Several members of Academy leadership , staff , and Board of Governors recently returned from France where AMPAS hosted some activities including Oscar Animation Day at Xilam Paris moderated by Board member and recent How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Oscar nominated producer Bonnie Arnold. That happened on March 2nd , but with all the restrictions imposed since about gatherings of over 100 people in that country it looks like they just got it in just under the wire. And in retrospect it also looks like making the recent 92nd Academy Awards the earliest ever on Sunday February 9th just a month ago, but it seems like a lot longer was a fortunate move considering all the cancellations since then.
Meanwhile the Television Academy has been sending members of which I am one , and formerly a Board member updates on how the emerging FYC season of panels and events is going to proceed. As announced this week they have not minced words about plans for the entire nominating season and have changed the format of ALL FYC events to exclude any in person audience participation or attendance , but instead will be making panels available only via streaming and other forms of delivery through the end date of campaign season on...