Are we just not gonna talk about Hasan Minhaj?

7 min readNov 22, 2020

The Ellen debacle has been well documented. And by the Ellen debacle, I mean the bruhaha in which she has pretended to be nice and kind, has built an entire career and brand around “be kind,” only for us to we find out that she has treated her staff in a terrible manner, and that she was not, in fact, kind. At all.

Around the same time that the issues with Ellen were becoming public this year, tweets from women of colour—especially South Asian women—who worked on Patriot Act with Hassan Minhaj, came out. They were sharing their experiences on Minhaj’s lauded show as a gesture of solidarity with other people who worked on shows — shows that have been sold to the public as morally and ethically upright but which treated their staff in a dismal manner.

First, Sheila Vee, a former producer on the show, tweeted about her experience, only to go on to protect her tweets. That is understandable. After all, Minhaj is beloved by the “woke” Desis, and the social justice crowd in general. She was making herself a target by telling the truth.

I’ve been thinking all day about @prachigu and @amalykinz’s tweets on their former workplaces, and how much courage it must have taken to speak out. So I’d like to join them and say, I’ve never been more unhappy than when I was working at Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.

— Sheila V Kumar (@SheilaVee) June 8, 2020

A longer screenshot of Kumar’s comments that have since been made private.

That Kumar has worked in a lot of places, and has probably seen a lot of terrible workplaces, especially workplaces run by white people, and still consider Patriot Act to be something that she has never experienced before, hints to us just how bad a working environment Patriot Act was.

In response to Sheila Vee’s tweets, other women of colour who worked on Patriot Act also came forward with their stories. These include Pakistani news producer and writer Nur Nasreen.


Activist and writer. Coined the term #chineseprivilege. She/her, Tamil, Curvy, Southeast Asian living in Melbourne.