Kal Penn "Disappointed" in Television Academy for Excluding 'Sunnyside' From Immigration-Focused Panel

Kal Penn - 2017 Global Citizen Festival - Getty - H 2018
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"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 by 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 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 Hearts 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 Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the Television Academy for comment.