April 3rd, 2010
11:57 AM ET
11 years ago

Report: Actor to leave Obama administration

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/02/art.kalpenn.file.gi.jpg caption="The White House wouldn't confirm a report Friday that actor Kal Penn is leaving the Obama administration."]Washington (CNN) - The White House isn't confirming a report that actor Kal Penn is leaving the Obama administration.

Entertainment Weekly reported Friday that Penn, best known for his roles in the "Harold and Kumar" films and on the popular medical drama "House, M.D." is leaving the White House.

Penn, whose real name is Kalpen Modi, has spent much of the past year working in the White House Office of Public Liaison, which is run by Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

EW.com reported that the actor is returning to Hollywood to resume his acting career, starting with a Christmas-themed installation of the "Harold and Kumar" series.

Despite the report, the White House press office isn't saying much about Penn's plans.

"Mr. Modi is honored to serve in this Administration and has no announcements to make about his tenure here at this point," White House spokesman Shin Inouye told CNN.

Penn, a long-time Obama supporter, endorsed Obama's White House bid in late 2007, and was a frequent surrogate on the campaign trail.

Entertainment Weekly shares the same parent company as CNN.

– CNN's Kate Bolduan contributed to this report

Filed under: Kal Penn • White House
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Jake

    At least now he will be doing something productive...like giving us another Harold & Kumar movie....

    April 3, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Shawn

    I guess politics isn't everything he was expecting.

    April 3, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Steve

    Wow, that didn't last long. I guess liberalism is a lot easier when you've got a steady paycheck coming in.

    April 3, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. Rahm

    I hope he realizes that unemployment is at 12% and when the census workers get laid off he'll have an even harder time looking for work.

    April 3, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. John Hennessy Black

    And who really cares?

    This guy was and isn't much of an actor; I doubt if he had anything of any significance to contribute to President Obama's team...

    April 3, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Harold

    Poor Kumar, I guess that hopey-changey thing didn't quite work out.

    April 3, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. crpreston267

    who is Penn really?

    April 3, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. dragon8me

    I love the Harold and Kumar movies. I bet he's leaving because Obama is spending more money on the drug war after saying he was for decriminalization during the campaign.

    April 3, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. markiejoe

    Gotta make the money.

    April 3, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. MyIIcents

    What did they expect when they hired an actor? That person is not going to stick around long when they get 'past' the ideas of grandure, and figure out it's a real job. Not when they can go back to making movies and the 'big-bucks.' Hire people that actually went to school for those types of jobs, not people that are just 'popular.'

    April 3, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. anonymous

    He is AMAZING! I am glad he is coming back to acting

    April 3, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Independent Gary

    Kal Penn should have had a more public position. He is a fun actor and probably should go back to acting.

    April 3, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. El Gordo

    We don't want any more actors around the White House. The last one was a complete disaster!

    April 3, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Mark Mathews

    So what, one actor departing the white house leaves the rest of the hive of actors. It is a good start though...

    April 3, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. Preston kathy

    Preston kathy come on cnn who cares im sure thatsthe last thing the dems care about

    April 3, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Ramses

    OK with me. He needs to move on. Often the realities of life & work are different than what we imagine. Penn needs to be happy & satisfy himsel.

    April 3, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. DJ

    Maybe he finally came to his senses.

    April 3, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Dave

    The honest way to go make some more money, good for Penn. What a breath of fresh air.

    April 3, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    Tired of hanging out with all those bad actors huh?

    April 3, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. Doug

    Expect him to win an oscar now, he has learned how to act and pretend to be what you are not by the best in the world at it.

    April 3, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Polliyan Barnes

    Well done. Whatever your reasons for leaving, you utilized an opportunity, and you are a much better person for it.

    April 3, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |