MAULIK PANCHOLY is changing the character, face, and political voice of Hollywood. Besides indelible (and SAG Award-nominated) turns on shows like 30 Rock and Weeds, Pancholy speaks out against injustice, from bullying to racial prejudice—the latter motivating his recent resignation from the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
Known for his razor-sharp comic timing, Pancholy’s shrewd work in entertainment is helping to broaden the diversity we see in film and television, defying the typecasting that continues to limit many actors of color. In addition to appearing on six seasons of both 30 Rock and Weeds, Pancholy has starred on the NBC Comedy Whitney and recurred on critically acclaimed comedies such as Web Therapy and The Comeback. He is the voice of Baljeet on Disney’s Phineas & Ferb and the title character of Sanjay on Nickelodeon’s Sanjay & Craig. He recently starred on Broadway in It’s Only A Play opposite Matthew Broderick and Martin Short, and is currently in production on CBS’ upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series.
More directly political, Pancholy was one of 20 people appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve as a Commissioner on the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Pancholy served for nearly three years, during which time he spearheaded an anti-bullying campaign called Act to Change.
Only one week after launching Act To Change, the campaign had reached nearly 5 million people and made more than 10 million impressions on social media. Pancholy and co-Commissioners engaged support from celebrities like basketball player Jeremy Lin, actor George Takei, and many others. Besides Act to Change, during Pancholy’s time at the White House, he addressed concerns affecting the AAPI community, such as LGBTQ issues, immigration, healthcare, education, engaging young people and encouraging them to participate in government, and crushing the Asian American "Model Minority" myth via live talks and Google Hangouts.
Pancholy arguably made his strongest stand yet in February 2017 when he and several fellow AAPI Commissioners resigned from their White House posts because they could “no longer serve a President whose policies aim to create outcomes that are diametrically opposite to our principles, goals, and charge.” Pancholy continues to advocate, as stated in his resignation letter addressed to President Trump for “Protecting the civil rights of all those living in our country, including the most vulnerable.”