By Tori Mirsadjadi '12, Senior Copy Editor
Maulik Pancholy, the Indian- American actor who had been scheduled to speak on “Diversity on Screen,” will no longer be available to speak at Garrison tomorrow evening.
According to a Feb. 29 press release concerning the talk, a family illness has prevented Pancholy from being able to make it to Scripps for his March 2 lecture date.
Pancholy’s visit and accompanying talk and question-and-answer session have been postponed rather than canceled. This is good news for the College, which has been hard at work organizing Pancholy’s visit as a high- profile event, emphasizing his roles on 30 Rock and Weeds to get students excited for the famous guest speaker.
Pancholy’s personal perspective on the media’s constantly-evolving attitude toward minorities is bolstered by a strong educational background on the topics on which
he will be speaking at Scripps—albeit on an as-yet-undetermined date—in addition to his extensive screen and stage experience. Pancholy received a Bachelor of Science in Theatre and Musical Theatre from Northwestern University, and got his MFA at the Yale School of Drama. He also trained with The Groundlings, a renowned comedy improv group based in Los Angeles.
Malott Commons Programming Associate Emily Simmons (’14) has worked with the Alexa Fullerton Hampton Voice and Vision Speaker Series, partnering with the Pomona Theater Department to get funding to bring Pancholy to Scripps. The goal of the series, according to Simmons, is to enlighten and inspire the audience as well as expose them to new ideas and perspectives. These goals will hopefully still be met by Pancholy’s talk on “Diversity on Screen,” albeit at a later date.
Bringing Pancholy to Scripps has been Simmons’ personal project, a finale to her internship and an opportunity to plan an event from start to finish. She was very excited to secure Pancholy for Scripps.
Said Simmons, “In researching possible speakers I looked for people that would not only spark students’ interests but could add to continuing campus discourses,” said Simmons. “With the issue of race becoming an ever-increasing subject among Scripps students, I thought Maulik Pancholy’s outside perspective on race in mainstream media could bring a valuable addition to our ongoing dialogue. Once I spoke to his agent and heard of his grounded attitude and love of speaking with students, my decision was made.”
Though Pancholy will not be available this week, Malott Commons is already working to reschedule his visit, and will hopefully be able to bring him here later this semester, according to Malott Commons student intern Zooey Jacobs (’15). An unanticipated family illness may have prevented Pancholy from being available this week, but excited students will hopefully still have an opportunity to see this high-profile speaker—and maybe even get the not-unheard-of opportunity to chat with him over pizza—about highly apropos topic of diversity. The only thing uncertain at this point is just when that opportunity will come about.