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Kal Penn Shared Some Of The Racist Audition Scripts He Got At The Start Of His Career

"Tried to convince them to let me speak without an accent & make it funny on the merits," the Harold & Kumar actor tweeted. "Was told no."

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On Tuesday, actor Kal Penn — best known for his roles in Harold & Kumar and House — took to Twitter to share some of the racist audition scripts he was given at the start of his career.

The few roles available to Indian-American actors at the time? "Gandhi lookalike," snake charmers, and fire eaters.

Found a bunch of old scripts from some of my first years trying to be an actor.

When Penn read for one role, he was told by the casting director to make his Hindi accent "a little more AUTHENTIC."

Jeez I remember this one! They were awful. "Can you make his accent a little more AUTHENTIC?" That usually meant th… https://t.co/nTBNPbg9Ub

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Auditioning without an accent was often not an option. Not on Jenji Kohan's short-lived series The Stones...

This was a pilot called The Stones. Tried to convince them to let me speak without an accent & make it funny on the… https://t.co/6wH24u2kj1

Or on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch! Man. We got INTO it about why he had to have an accent. I'm laughing about it now but th… https://t.co/nWFlMCCztQ

Because more often that not, the accent was written to be the butt of the joke.

I do not remember this audition except that it was for some shitty MTV show and the big joke was an accent and too… https://t.co/wNy4qPKnPy

Many of the roles he went out for were unnamed characters.

Ha! In this audition for Smart Guy, they didn't even give the character a name!

🙄

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Or they were characters who get mocked for foreign-sounding names. Like on King of Queens...

Friggin King of Queens man! I used to love that show until I got to audition for it lol

And whatever The Marriage Clause was.

This was for some project called The Marriage Clause I guess.

Penn also tweeted a script for a commercial in which the make-up artists used Vaseline on him to create a “sweaty unwashed look” of a “Pakistani computer geek.”

Whoa I remember this! This was one of my first commercials. The makeup people would use Vaseline to get the sweaty… https://t.co/B5U3PVwaDT

Penn, however, did praise shows that got it right and "didn't have to use external things to mask subpar writing," including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 24...

Stuff like Steve Harvey, Buffy, Angel, 24, really smart, creative people who didn't have to use external things to mask subpar writing

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

Also when you cast things like @shorez, largely color & gender blind, it's more interesting & ratings can look like… https://t.co/4FLsae8MRS

BuzzFeed News has reached out to MTV, Alexander von David, and the creators behind The Stones; Smart Guy; King of Queens; and Sabrina the Teenage Witch for comments.

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