Actor Kal Penn Shares Appalling Racial Stereotypes From Past Audition Scripts

Actor Kal Penn Shares Appalling Racial Stereotypes From Past Audition Scripts


Kal Penn dug through his old scripts from casting calls to expose Hollywood's ongoing practice of racial stereotyping.

The Designated Survivor actor balked at the belittling cultural representation from the roles he auditioned for at the start of his career in the 90s.

The scripts contained very disparaging descriptions of South Asian and Middle Eastern characters from past commercials, television, and movies, and he posted them on Twitter.

CREDIT: thewrap

Some of the descriptions included: "Gandhi lookalike," "snake charmer," and "foreign student."

"Jeez I remember this one! They were awful," he captioned in one of the posts. He recalls the conversation in the audition room: "Can you make his accent a little more AUTHENTIC?' That usually meant they wanted Apu."

CREDIT: giphy

Penn is very outspoken about the topic of cultural representation in pop culture. During the Obama Administration, he was an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.

He also deflected a nasty racial Instagram comment against him just after the signing of the executive order banning immigrants and refugees. The hateful comment addressed Penn, saying, "you don’t belong here you f—ing joke."

But, instead of engaging back with hate, he turned the situation into a beneficial one for refugees.

CREDIT: twitter

The actor has since raised $863,686 in donations for the International Rescue Committee.

Take a look at the audition scripts he's kept from earlier in his career.

Would a Ben Kingsley look-alike suffice?

CREDIT: twitter

Which authentic accent?

CREDIT: twitter

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