Back to IndieWire

Kal Penn Shares Photo Revealing Racism Toward Him and Maggie Q at TV Upfronts

Penn revealed he and his "Designated Survivor" co-star Maggie Q were subject to racism during a TV Upfronts presentation.

Kal Penn and Maggie Q

Kal Penn and Maggie Q


Kal Penn used “Throwback Thursday” on social media to call out a stage manager at a recent TV Upfronts presentation who was racist toward him and his “Designated Survivor” co-star Maggie Q. Penn posted a photograph showing the names of the “Designated Survivor” cast and crew who were promoting the show on an Upfronts panel, but the unnamed stage manager annotated the guide by writing “Asian” next to Maggie Q’s name and “Indian” next to Penn’s name. None of the caucasian cast members had any annotations describing their race.

Maggie Q shared Penn’s photograph on her own social media pages, writing, “That’s right. We aren’t white so we needed a classification.”

Both Penn and Maggie Q have had series regular roles on “Designated Survivor” since the show launched on ABC in September 2016. The political thriller series stars Kiefer Sutherland as a politician who becomes President of the United States after an explosion kills everyone ranked ahead of him in the line of succession. The series aired its first two seasons on ABC and will return for a 10-episode third season on Netflix in 2019.

Penn has used social media in the past to call out racism in Hollywood. Last year, the actor made headlines for sharing racist casting call announcements in which he auditioned for stereotype characters. One role in the casting call was for a character described as a “Gandhi lookalike.” Penn also shared he feuded with executives on “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” when they insisted his character, Prajeeb, have an accent.

“Designated Survivor” will return on Netflix sometime in 2019.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox