Kal Penn will host the 2021 Writers Guild Awards ceremony, to be held virtually March 21 from Los Angeles and New York.
“I’m very honored that the Writers Guild, of which I’m a member, chose me to bring together a wildly diverse range of people, from liberal writers on the West Coast to liberal writers on the East Coast,” Penn joked. “I’m just that unifying.”
Penn is known for his starring roles in the Harold & Kumar franchise, House, Designated Survivor and Sunnyside, which he co-created and co-wrote with Matt Murray for NBC-Universal and Hulu. He can currently be seen in the CBS drama Clarice and Disney Junior’s Mira, Royal Detective. He has also appeared in independent films, including The Namesake.
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Penn has maintained simultaneous careers in both entertainment and public service. A campaign organizer and advocate. During the Obama administration, he was an associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement from 2009-11, where he served as the president’s liaison to young Americans, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and to the arts community.
A staunch supporter of trade unions, he leveraged his role as creator and host of Freeform’s politically-themed comedy/variety talk series Kal Penn Approves This Message in order to ensure that the show and its writers would be covered under the WGA’s contract. “It was important to me that the sketches in which I wear a judge’s robe and rap with a blue puppet in a hot tub were union,” he quipped.
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