Mindy Kaling responds to criticism that she’s not embracing diversity enough


I have a lot of angst when people hate on Mindy Kaling. I believe a lot of the criticism she gets as a person, as an actress, as a writer and as a multi-hyphenate entertainer is unfair. She’s blamed for not being all things to all people, she’s attacked for not being the perfect Indian-American heroine, she’s attacked for her size, her looks and most of all, her confidence. I honestly think her confidence is one of the biggest reasons why some people dislike her – that she has the audacity to believe that she’s an awesome person doing good work.

Well, Mindy did a Reddit AMA last week and the whole thing has taken on a life of its own. You can read the full rundown here at E! News, but I’m going to try to appropriately summarize everything that’s happened. In between lighter questions during the AMA, Mindy was asked why The Mindy Project has “very little diversity” and why there are so few men of color on the show. She was also asked about the Tamra character, played by African-American actress Xosha Roquemore, and why Tamra is a “stereotypical ‘sassy black woman’ character.” Here is Mindy’s response:

“Hi! Great question. I think I disagree with your premise. We have six series regulars. One, the lead, is me, and Indian woman. Another is an African American woman. That’s a third of our cast – although of course I hate to think of us in those terms. Utkarsh [Ambudkar] and Randall Park both recur on our show. I do think it’s important though, we can always do better. I always think it’s funny that I’m the only asked about this when sitcoms I love with female leads rarely date men of color. I guess white women are expected to date white men. I’m expected to ‘stick to my own.'”

“2) I think you’re talking about Tamra. I’m sad you reduce her to a ‘sassy black woman.’ Xosha [Roquemore] is hilarious and gorgeous and nails lines like ‘A cranberry turtleneck is what you give your aunt graduating from court reporter school.’ Is it because Tamra wants to be famous and loves to perform at work and puts a value on superficial things? I loved play that as Kelly on The Office, and I love that Tamra is young, loves celebrity, and is confident and into herself. I hate that it’s reduced to someone else’s version of a racial stereotype.”

[Via E! News]

All of which is totally legitimate. Do I think Tamra was written as a stereotype at first? Sure. But the writers rounded out the character in some great ways. I also think it’s consistently weird that Mindy Kaling gets questions about “diversity” because she is literally the only Indian-American woman starring, writing and producing her own show. The whole “why doesn’t Mindy date non-white guys?” is a question she always gets, to which Mindy tweeted this:

Which is really true. Why is dating-diversity only a thing when it involves a woman of color? I also think that everyone’s allowed to have their “type,” you know? Mindy likes cute, slightly fey white guys. That’s her type, on the show and in real life. And I think people get really mad about that, because “why is an Indian woman dating white men?” and “why doesn’t she stick to her own race?” Also: Mindy did deal with this on The Mindy Project. Mindy tried to flirt with Larenz Tate and he shut her down by telling her that his girlfriend is Tyra Banks.

Anyway, after all of that, Vulture editor Ira Madison (an African-American man) took Mindy to task in an epic Twitter rant about how Mindy doesn’t have enough women of color behind the scenes on The Mindy Project nor does she have enough men of color in front of the camera, etc. At one point, he tweeted: “I’m tired of talking about Sister Kaling. I need Priyanka Chopra to become a star and snatch her coins.” To which Mindy replied: “Sad that there can only be one of us succeeding. I love Priyanka’s work.”

For the record, of course I think Kaling could do better with diversity on her show. She should have more women behind the scenes and in front of the camera. She should have a more diverse show overall. BUT SO SHOULD EVERYONE ELSE. So should all the shows that have all-white leads and white showrunners and an all-white writers room and white producers and white male directors. Why is Mindy Kaling the one receiving this targeted criticism, and why is she being bashed to this extent?


Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

171 Responses to “Mindy Kaling responds to criticism that she’s not embracing diversity enough”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Snazzy says:

    I guess she’s taking it because she’s “the first”, you know?

    It’s like the eldest sibling who bends & breaks all the rules and takes all the flack – so that buy the time the younger siblings get up there, it’s easier for them because someone already started the work towards change.

    • Pinky says:

      Everyone ought to read Spike Lee’s speech that he gave when receiving his honorary Oscar this weekend. His point is, as you come up, you do your best to bring others with you. That is what Kaling is NOT doing but someone like Ansari seems to be trying to do? Kaling benefitted from diversity programs, etc., so she ought to think about giving back. However neither she nor her character needs to date a certain type of person. The rest of it though? Others have got a point.

      • Naya says:

        Very well put. On the Reddit AMA somebody told her that the way we move forward as minorities is that when we finally unlock a door, we make sure to take others with us. This is afterall what white dudes do for each other or is she so silly as to think all those white guys on casts and creews are there because they are better than every other human being on earth? Same applies for women, I gather of her 75 shows, only 5 have been directed by women. I’m so glad Master of None is killing it, take notes Mindy. We didnt “make” you (with our viewing time) so you could become part of the problem. i dont care who she dates but she needs to have a more diverse team behind the scenes and build a more diverse NYC onscreen.

      • Sam says:

        But at what point does that stop? Exactly how much diversity does she owe? What sort of quota would satisfy you, personally?

        While I’m really sympathetic to arguments for diversity, as a person of mixed background myself, I also get that somebody like Kaling ultimately needs to make decisions that are the best for her show. And if the best people available to her are white, I’m not going to fault her for going for that. Diversity is great, but I’m very wary of “diversity for diversity’s sake.” It would be awesome to do more to bring on a more diverse cast and crew, but at what point would that start to hinder the artistic merit of the show? I don’t know. But I’m wary of the arguments about “doing more” simply because “more” is such an ambiguous concept. What is enough? 25%? 50%? 75%? That’s the stuff that bothers me.

      • Naya says:

        I dont think the diversity we are talking about is ambigous and it’s not about drawing out percentages at all. Shonda Rimes and Aziz Ansari have come up severally on this thread as exemplary (Jenji Kohan is in this club too) and nobody here has done a percentage count of their casts or how much screen time they get. You just know when you are viewing something problematic. And Mindys show often feels like it was conceived in a white mans mind just given the sheer amount of screen time white male characters get. I’m currently watching Sleepy Hollow and shes definitely failing when gauged against that (presumably) white male show runner.

        Surely nobody in this day and age is making the argument that a show just couldnt find talented PoC and is consistently forced to settle for white men to fill its cast, writers room and to direct the shows. Please no, just no. As many struggling asian, latinos and blacks as there are in Hollywood, NO.

      • Natalie says:

        ““diversity for diversity’s sake.” It would be awesome to do more to bring on a more diverse cast and crew, but at what point would that start to hinder the artistic merit of the show?”

        Is that a thing? Hollywood is so incredibly competitive that there are hundreds if not thousands of qualified minority actors and tech people competing alongside white people. Especially for acting roles, where the default is still white. How would artistic merit be compromised by hiring too many people of color?

        Genuinely asking, has there been a part that was compromised by hiring a person of color rather than a white actor?

      • Sam says:

        Naya: “You just know when you are viewing something problematic.”

        Except…no. This is largely the issue I take with a lot of social justice stuff going on today. It’s not premised upon numbers or data or research or anything, it’s based on presumption and gut feelings. And that sort of turns me off. You’re asking me to just accept this as problematic without demonstrating why it is.

        Natalie: I think that diversity is awesome – I’m not arguing that. But this is a discussion about increasing diversity in representation. And in truth, neither you nor I know exactly how many meritorious people of color are in Hollywood. My issue is that there is a strong presumption here that when a cast or crew are not diverse (or not diverse enough to anyone’s particular liking), the presumption is that the creator did not do enough to seek out diversity. And that presumption, to me, is not always grounded in fact or evidence. Even Aziz Ansari admitted that he was thisclose to altering a role because he couldn’t find an Asian man to play it and only lucked out at the last minute. That to me suggests that there may have been a dearth of Asian male actors. And by Ansari’s own admission, he turned down a number of Asian men who did not have the necessary skills to carry the role. If he hadn’t lucked out with Kelvin Yu and had changed the role to an Asian woman, would he be getting lambasted here for failing to create a role for an Asian man? What if he had decided that an Asian man was essential and cast one of the less competent applicants and the show had suffered for it? That’s what I’m talking about – while diversity is awesome, I do appreciate that creative decisions have to be made and that they can’t always jive with the ideal.

      • Algernon says:

        @ Sam

        “And in truth, neither you nor I know exactly how many meritorious people of color are in Hollywood.”

        I can’t give you a specific number, but as someone who has worked for nearly a decade in video/commerical production, I can tell you there are *way* more “meritorious” people of color and women in the industry than are being employed. Every TV show, movie production, and commercial shoot could be 50% women/minorities *easily* and still have talented folks left over, in front of and behind the camera. The entertainment industry runs on a surplus of talent. But since you want statistics before you believe there’s a problem, here are some numbers for you.

        The USC study of US films from 2007-2012 revealed that in 2012 26.3% of speaking roles in movies went to minorites, even though 44% of movie tickets were bought by minorities in the same year. In a different study of films from 2002-2014, only 4.1% of the top grossing films (100 top earners per year) were female, even though film schools report they have equitable ratios of male and female students. That means that in film school, men and women are equal, but somehow after they graduate, the women are virtually unemployable. You can’t tell me that’s purely a talent thing.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I do have to point out that many of the actors that played her love interests before Danny were mostly Guest Stars in reoccurring roles. They were known actors (like Andres Holm, James Franco, Bill Hader, etc. ) and most had lots of comedy on their resumes.

    • denisemich says:

      I HATE this. You mean she is not the perfect Indian American woman. Really!

      Criticism about not being diverse enough is the same as telling her how to be the proper ethnic. People should jump off.

      She is not living her life by a script but doing her best.

      People seem to want her to be the Indian Shonda Rhimes.

    • Dena says:

      @ Sam. It never stops. And I argue that it shouldn’t. I’m African-American. My friends and I have this conversation all the time. When can I be a free individual like the generic nondescript white person? Why must I be obligated to my race? My answer is that an AA person, whose ancestral history, is one of slavery and racial discrimination, I owe it to all of those people–black and white–whose shoulders I stand on, who have made it possible for me to have what I have, to be who I am, and to act on some if not all of my dreams. It’s not to race that I have that obligation. It’s to those people who kept on pushin in times that were far more dangerous than these.

      Those people, particularly via the struggle for black emancipation, the struggle for black personhood, and the struggle for black equality before the law and in society, inspired people and fueled movements around the world. It was their suffering, their pain, and their determination that has allowed so many other minority groups within America to slip under the radar and go undetected. And, ironically, it was also their success that allows people like Mindy and all other marginalized racial & ethnic minorities the “right” and even the ease to step back and say “this isn’t my fight”.

      Not everyone sees it like I do but they should at least think about it a bit before they walk away into anonymity.

    • Diva says:

      She gets it the worst because as a woman of color she knows how hard it is to get representation in Hollywood. She should be helping others open doors as well. I agree that every show should be more diverse as well. Think people just don’t see her as being sensitive to the issue

  2. OSTONE says:

    I am not sure if the question had undertones of “stick to your own”, however she is absolutely right in the assessment of her criticism for “lack of diversity”. She is a confident Indian-American woman who produces and stars on her own show. That’s diversity right there! If she wants to date or cast white men, please be my guest! I am a WOC and married a white man, thankfully we haven’t been under scrutiny in our community (and we live in the south!) but I have heard comments of men of my race who have told me, to my face, that how dare I marry a white man and outside of my race. You go, Mindy.

    • WTW says:

      I’m a black woman married to a white man, but I haven’t just been involved with white men and if I had a show loosely based on my life, I would feature diverse love interests and diverse supporting cast members because we don’t live in an all-white world. I was through with Mindy’s show after Tamra. I found her extremely stereotypical and problematic. She’s a college-educated woman but walked around the office singing all the time and behaving completely inappropriately. Um….no. I also get tired of Mindy making comments on the show about how she’s a chubby brown girl but still manages to pull white guys. This seems to be the grand achievement of her life. Then on another episode, Mindy and a white guy start talking about rap music and how black people get mad at them for saying the N-word. In that moment, she clearly seemed white-identified. While I wouldn’t be okay with Mindy rapping the N-word, she’d hardly get the same blow back a white person would for rapping it, especially since she herself is darker than many black people and could be referred to as the N-word herself. Anyway, I just saw Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” last night and loved it. He gets it when it comes to race. Mindy absolutely does not.

      • TWINK says:

        “I also get tired of Mindy making comments on the show about how she’s a chubby brown girl but still manages to pull white guys. This seems to be the grand achievement of her life. ”

        Yeah, it looks like she thinks white guys are the ultimate prize.

  3. Dtab says:

    I loved her answer, she is very funny and talented and shouldn’t be reduced to who she is dating. How many other shows are there with an Indian-American woman as the lead, or even in their shows. We should be praising her for what she is doing…rather than what we think she should be doing. There is a lot more shows that should be held up for their lack of diversity and gender equality in them.

    • lucy2 says:

      Off the top of my head, I can only think of Archie Panjabi on the Good Wife (who left the show last year and if I recall, all of the character’s love interests were white) and Priyanka Chopra on Quantico (who’s only love interest so far is a white guy).

    • woodstock_schulz says:

      I don’t know if this show is still on, but Orphan Black stars Tatiana Malsani (sp?) who I think is of Indian or middle eastern origin/background. From what I’ve heard it’s a really good show and she portrays several characters at once.

      I don’t know about her personal or her characters’ dating history however.

      • lucy2 says:

        Tatiana is Canadian, I don’t believe she is of Indian or Middle Eastern descent. But yes it’s a good show, and she is AMAZING in it. I’ve been watching from the beginning and usually forget it’s the same actress playing the different characters.

      • perplexed says:

        I think she may be of Ukrainian origin, Canadian nationality.

      • Elisa the I. says:

        Tatiana Maslany has Ukrainian/Polish and German/Austrian roots. 🙂

  4. Louise177 says:

    Mindy is expected to do more since she’s a woman and a minority. She’s in their shoes so it’s assumed that she would do more to help people like her.

    • Jess says:

      I think this is exactly the issue (w the diversity thing, not the dating thing). Especially because she talked about how hard it was to make it as an Indian American woman in Hollywood so you expect her to know and do more for everyone who isn’t a white guy in Hollywood. I wouldn’t be surprised if the issue is being raised now because of comparisons (fair or unfair) to Aziz and his very diverse cast. Not that any of this is fair when the rest of Hollywood is soo white and soo male.

      • Pinky says:

        Agree with both of you.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Agree. We always seem to act as if creating a medium that accurately reflects diversity is so hard – until someone does it easily and blows that excuse out of the water.

        Aziz did it so now Mindy looks bad and the excuses look lame.

  5. lucy2 says:

    I agree – she could do a little more, but her show is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of TV.

    • We Are All Made of Stars says:

      But I think people have to remember that she doesn’t have complete control over this stuff. The powers that be aren’t just going to sit idly by and let a hit show be dominated by a high percentage of minorities. I believe that she is a preppy rich girl who likes closeted whiteboys, but hey, that sounds like a fortunate reality what with Hollywood politics being what they are and all.

      • Naya says:

        “The powers that be aren’t just going to sit idly by and let a hit show be dominated by a high percentage of minorities”

        This is extremely unlikely. Many of the highest rated shows today have diverse casts. Furthermore, three of the biggest shows in the last year have a cast thats almost exclusively PoC (Blackish, Empire and Fresh Off The Boat). Thats not because The Powers That Be are alturistic, its because they have in the last five years discovered a lucrative untapped and extremely loyal demography. I dont just mean PoC but also white people who have an interest in seeing a fairer representation on screen. Mindy’s show has consistently struggled for viewers specifically because she allienates this natural audience with her whole identifies-as-white shtick and how white her entire cast and staff is. Thats not on the network, thats on Mindy.

  6. NewWester says:

    Has anyone done research into how diverse the CEOs and board of directors, financial institutions and other big money behind most television/film productions are? Yes the finished product and directly behind the scenes ( writers, etc) could be more diverse in many cases.
    But this is an issue with society as a whole and not just with the entertainment field

    • kinn says:

      Actually, yes, this is the kind of research that I do. And no, CEOs are definitely not diverse. More reason for any chance that a person of privilege has to showcase diversity (ie Shonda Rimes), the better

    • Algernon says:

      Recent studies of the CEO corps in Hollywood reveal the studios/major productions companies are 94% white and 100% male.

  7. kibbles says:

    It is very rare to see a man of color – especially of Asian descent – paired with a woman of any race in the media. In my experience, I often see white men paired with East Asian women. It’s so frequent that it’s become cliche. Next, you might see a white man paired with a Hispanic or black woman. I am seeing more instances of white women paired with men of color, but it isn’t nearly as much as white men with pretty much any woman of their choice. This dynamic tends to leave out Asian men and to an extent dark skinned women. You see this dynamic playing out in real life as well; there have been a number of articles that discuss the racist reasons why Asian men and black women are at the bottom of the dating totem pole. So, yes, I really think that having more Asian men and black women as romantic leads with a diverse range of romantic partners is important in fighting stereotypes that hurt these demographics in the real world dating scene as well.

    I don’t think the responsibility to increase diversity on television should fall squarely on Mindy Kaling’s shoulders though. I personally love her show and I love her romantic partner Danny. I believe Mindy is still a trailblazer as a darker skinned, short, and curvy Indian woman who is smart, sassy, and confident. It’s really a miracle to see someone like her on television paired with any guy, especially an equally smart, successful, and cute white guy. Her critics have valid points, and it would have been nice to have at least seen Mindy paired with more Asian men earlier in the show before she got with Danny, but I have no problem that she ended up with Danny. I think they have great chemistry and are a good on-screen couple.

    • Dids says:

      Raj dated at least two white women in the Big Bang Theory. He might not be portrayed as a stud, but I think he’s a catch 😉

      • katie says:

        I love Raj. He’s my secret character crush.

      • Eleonor says:

        Raj doesn’t want to date indian girls…to piss his parents ! He’s such an hellraiser 😀

      • WTW says:

        I love Raj, but even his character is problematic because for most of the show he hasn’t had a love interest. Now that he does, we rarely see her. People like Howard and Sheldon are coupled up, and Raj, the cutest one (imho), has spent most of the show single and too awkward to talk to women. I find this racist as well.

    • sanders says:

      I was very intrigued by how TIna Fey wrote for the white female lead in the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She had two competing love interests, a rich white man and a poor, immigrant Vietnamese guy. The main character chooses the Asian guy over the white rich guy. I was flabbergasted!

      I used the word intriguing because there are problematic aspects to how Tina Fey represents people and cultures of colour, including this Asian character. She applied a lot of stereotypes to the Asian character, he was a math whiz, she named him dong and there were jokes about this. I have to say though, on her shows, poc are not invisible. And she even acknowledged the phenomen of Asian men being desexualized in Western culture whereas Asian women are considered highly desirable.

      • Erinn says:

        Speaking of the guys – I personally find Asian men super attractive. I perosnally would love to see more of them on TV. The guy from Kimmie Schmidt is so sweet. The white rich guy – I can’t think of his real name or his characters – was also on Mixology – and super amusing on that.

        Not sure if anyone else watches Buzzfeed videos, but I know there’s been articles where Eugene has mentioned that he loves that he can be kind of the ‘hot guy’ in the try guy videos and stuff like that, because growing up he was the awkward kid, and I think the only one of Asian decent in his classes. He loves that he’s able to show a different side, but at the same time realizes he’s lucky to have that chance.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


        Eugene Lee Yang is definitely up for any and all hot guy roles in my mind. 😍

        When you hear people debate about representation it may seem unfair but I do think a lot of it comes down to experiences like his own. While we don’t have to make everything a perfect pie chart of diversity we do need to think about what messages we send to young men like him and other boys and girls growing up who are labeled ‘weird’ simply because of a stereotype of an ethnicity. If someone has the power to change that stereotype/perception and doesn’t then it’s also something to be explored.

        (Even Eugene called himself out with one of his videos about not including ALL Asians)

  8. Naya says:

    I feel like Mindy gets it harder because we expect her to know better, given that she is one of us. Lets not forget that Tamra was introduced primarily because of the general outcry over how white that show was. (Not just white…the other female characters had been pushed back too, remember the two female bffs and the “hot” nurse who disappeared into TV heaven?). And Tamras fleshing out was also reaction to the criticism of how poorly she was written. It was like a WoC had pretty much just created another white dude show, inserted herself into the mix and actually thought this was groundbreaking scripting. I think that if from that first season she had cast some of the office mates as rounded PoC, perhaps a MoC or two, she could have gotten away with dating exclusively white guys.

    I feel like Mindy was recycling an old model because it didnt occur to her that Shonda has proven that there is an audience for diversity. I hate how defensive Mindy gets, shes reacted this way from day 1. But the pressure clearly works on her, which is why shes made a few changes over the years. So good for Reddit and twitter for calling her out, long may it continue. “But everybody else is doing it” is a lazy excuse, Mindy.

  9. Patricia says:

    I get her frustration. You can’t win.
    I am a white woman married to a Puerto Rican man. People have told me that he’s with me because “Hispanic men love big women” (I’m not even that big anymore lol), and because “Puerto Ricans are raised to think white women are better than Puerto Rican women”. And I’m like EXCUSE ME none of those bullshit stereotypes are the reason my husband is with me and loves me! It’s insulting.
    I’ve also had two different white women tell me that it’s “unusual” that my Hispanic husband supports us well enough to be home with my son. Like only a white man can have a good enough income to provide that?! People are so rude and so crazy with stereotyping interracial couples. Like there have to be all the pre-ordained “reasons” we are together, instead of the reality that we are in love and respect and cherish each other for who we are.
    I’m glad Mindy is making noise about this. She had the right to date who she is attracted to without having a rollout of stereotypes laid upon her.

    • WTW says:

      But many Puerto Rican and other men of color are raised to think white women are better. I’m not saying that’s the only reason your husband is with you, but I believe this is a valid concern–not about your particular marriage but in general. This is why you often hear it said that a man of color will still consider an average-looking white woman a trophy but ignore a beautiful woman of color. On the flipside, I’m a slender and fairly attractive (so I’m told) black woman, and some white women get all bent out of shape when they see me with my white husband. They have this attitude like WTF is he doing with her? They have this entitlement that comes from the privilege of being told that they’re superior to all other women.

      • Erinn says:

        It’s a huge problem in a lot of different steps of the way. But it sucks in this situation – because it’s not like she was part of that problem regarding how many men from different cultures (or women regarding men or whathaveyou) are taught to view white women as subjectively better. She just kind of came in later on and was like ‘hey this guys great, I’d like to marry him’. And I know in a lot of situations like that the woman in her position gets a lot of hate from the community – which isn’t fair either. It’s really a catch 22 in a lot of ways, and something that’s going to have to take major steps to really change. It’s hard when people are raising their kids to think a certain way. Hopefully it’s a trend that will slow to a halt as soon as possible.

      • tealily says:

        Why would anyone think that is appropriate to say things like this to anyone about their relationship, though? I would think that, of all people, people in multicultural relationships are MORE attuned to these issues, not less. Obnoxious.

  10. Neha says:

    I kind of agree with the criticism. Yes, it’s unfair that people are looking to her to do it but that’s precisely because she knows how difficult it is to get work in that industry as a person of color and a woman. Most show runners, who are mostly white men, aren’t going to do it so people look to her. Other WOC with as much power as her, like Shonda Rhimes, have embraced that responsibility not because they have to, but because they want to. It doesn’t bother anyone else out that a rom-com about a curvy, Indian woman has a writing staff almost exclusively made of skinny white guys? As a curvy Indian woman myself, I personally find myself cringing at a lot of their racist jokes, “Mindy is stupid” jokes, and “Mindy is fat” jokes and knowing that a skinny white guy probably wrote it doesn’t help. And, I’m sorry, Randall Park is recurring? Pretty sure we haven’t seen him for 3 years on the show. I think Mindy is just using the typical “how dare you ask only me” faux angry response to avoid answering any real questions.

    • Denise says:

      Yes she has the opportunity to make a difference – everyone does! (I think she already has by being a woman first, second that she’s of color, running the show literally and figuratively). And you know what…I sympathise because she just wants to do what anyone else wants to do and does do – tell her stories her way because she’s Mindy Kaling. Not Mindy Kaling Indian woman. Minority. WOC. Maybe her creative process doesn’t allow for the entire spectrum of what that could entail, right now. Maybe let’s appreciate what she’s achieved rather than criticise that which we think is missing.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        If we celebrated what we achieved and not hungered for more we’d all have given her a polite applause during her office days. The truth is she’s given more and more success over the years and that success isn’t translating into her bringing a new and amazing perspective for portraying a type of woman so rarely seen on TV (Indian). Instead it’s the same jokes and lens and it doesn’t make others appreciate her, it makes her seem like someone her position of success was wasted on.

      • K says:

        @eternal side eye I don’t get that she is playing an Indian American woman on tv. She may not be stereotypical enough for some people but she is playing a second generation American of Indian decent.

        Now if you don’t find her show funny and the jokes to be redundant then that is valid and while I disagree I can see that happening. Comedy is personal, but she is portraying an Indian American on tv. I think she has actually done a fantastic job showing that Indians aren’t all in a specific stereotype.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        You seem to think I want a stereotype when I’m challenging the fact that she is portraying a stereotype. She’s a cookie cutter minority woman living in a seemingly nearly white male world with few other minority individuals who are seemingly also stereotypes. She is a token on her own show and that is baffling.

  11. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I love her, and I wish people would celebrate her massive achievements without trying to bring her down. She could have more diversity on her show. But I agree that what drives a lot of the criticism of her is her confidence. How dare she be successful?

    • Algernon says:

      I think it’s possible to say both, “Mindy Kaling has accomplished so much, will accomplish even more, and that’s great,” and also, “Mindy Kaling clearly has some blind spots when it comes to diversity issues.”

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        True, and she does. I’m not saying you can’t like her and criticize her at the same time, or that anyone who criticizes her does so because they don’t like her confidence. But I do think there’s a segment of the population that is truly bugged by the fact that she doesn’t apologize for who she is.

      • Algernon says:

        I agree with that, but I also think she hides behind that to deflect *all* criticism, even the valid stuff.

  12. kinn says:

    I don’t get her tweet: someone write an article about white leads who don’t date outside their race. That’s not what she’s doing. She is an Indian lead who only dates outside her race. No one’s asking her to only bed brown boys on the show, but surely in the dozens of guys her character dated pre-Danny, she could have dated some fine black men, some groovy Indians, and a Latino here and there.

    • Erinn says:

      But that’s the thing – why do white actors/actresses never get called out for not dating diversely, while she’s being called out for it. It’s the same kind of scenario – why is it okay for there not to be diversity in the relationships of shows with white leads, but because her character dates white guys it’s somehow the end of the world. The outrage is foolish, and if the outrage needs to exist, they need to start calling out the white leads for not having a diversity in their romantic interests as well.

      It’s not as simple as ‘she dates outside of their race and that’s not what they’re doing’. It’s a case of it being somehow ‘okay’ that a white woman in a lead role like hers never is asked ‘why don’t you date people of other ethnicities?’ but she’s ragged on for it.

      • kinn says:

        Actually, leads that are also writers do get questioned on this (see Lena Dunham) and in any case, more is expected of Mindy, simply because she is a WoC. With white leads who are writers we can assume ignorance (not that that is an excuse), but it’s more difficult to believe that a WoC does not see the problem (or even worse, sees it but chooses to ignore it)

      • K says:

        Exactly! If it’s ok for the cast of girls to never even express interest in a minority male then it’s ok for Mindy (who has on multiple occasions expressed interest in minority males to be shot down) to date white males. One isn’t ok while the other is a betrayal of some kind.

      • Erinn says:

        Lena is someone who gets called out for everything though. Did Tina Fey ever get called out for Liz Lemon not dating diversely (This is a serious question – I can’t recall this happening, but it could have) ? What about Amy Poehler? There is absolutely a difference between the way they’re interviewed and the way Mindy is interviewed and written about.

        I understand that she should be trying to include more diversity in her show, having struggled herself, but at the same time she’s being held to an unfair standard just because she’s a WoC. These are questions/complaints that should be thrown at EVERYONE – and the fact that she is treated like she’s completely betraying minorities because her character dates white guys is just another part of the problem. I get the sentiment of wanting her to pack in as much diverse talent as she can – but there’s also a somewhat racial sting at the focus on who her character dates. It DOES come off as ‘stick to your own kind’ to a degree- even if that’s not the intention.

  13. Dids says:

    It breaks my heart. I Love Mindy and I love that she does what she wants with her show and not what is expected. That comment about how Priyanka Chopra should be more successful than Mindy is outrageous…. The Quantico star is a really good actress but she’s also incredibly beautiful by Hollwyood standards… Im not worry about her at all. Mindy is a trailblazer, and I hope she can get the recognition she deserves!

    • Erica_V says:

      ^^ this!

    • Mia4s says:

      That comment from Ira Madison is disgusting and more than a little racist in its undertones. I mean can you imagine if someone said “I really don’t like Michael B Jordan, I hope John Boyega comes in and takes his whole career!”? What? Only one young black actor allowed at a time or something? One Indian woman is not the same as any other Mr. Madison. Just gross.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Considering I’ve heard the same phrases uttered with white male and female celebrities all the time I really think you’re putting too much emphasis on race. Maybe if you’re not used to modern pop culture phrasing but I’ve heard folks say Ke$ha came in and snatched Gaga’s whole life many a time before.

        Can there be only one female singer or are they comparing two of a kind?

      • Mia4s says:

        That kind of just proves my point though. (I admit my example was weak). Someone wants to shade Gaga and they pull out Kesha. Sure. Both similar styles. But when this guy wants to shade Mindy he doesn’t name Zoey Deschanel or Amy Schumer or any other 30-something comedic/sitcom stars. Instead he pulls the name of a film actress who stars on an intense drama about terrorism? What could they possibly have in common? Hmmmm…

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        True, but anyone who has seen or heard Lady Gaga and Ke$ha knows the only thing they have in common is they’re the same skin tone and in the same field. Similar to how people are comparing Aziz and Kaling.

        You’re right, their ethnicity is the only thing they have in common and while Priyanka isn’t the executive of her show she is on a show that effortlessly boasts exemplifying minority individuals.

        A show that has two Indian female actresses including one wearing a traditional headscarf playing three different roles. That’s unheard of in this country. That’s strictly looking at it in terms of ethnicity.

        Now Priyanka has also made several interviews about the fact she refused for her character to be some rehash of old stereotypes and wanted as much as possible to flip that perception on its head. She’s open about the adversity faced and how she addresses it by her acting and what drew her to a show like this as opposed to another show.

        Mindy on the other hand seems surprised that people actually look at her show, at an environment she has created and is in charge of and ask her why there are no other minority characters or why the one minority character seems like such a stereotype.

        We are comparing three of a kind in that between Mindy, Priyanka, and Aziz two members of the group seem to have fought to be a part of something that gives a starring role and prominence to other ethnicities that are pushed to the side too often and one has not.

  14. K says:

    She could do more but it’s clear these people don’t watch her show, they write Tamara and Mindy and smart, confident, desired and in control women that the men are often intimidated by and look up too. It’s positive. I think it should also be pointed out the third female regular while white is in her 60s so incredibly rare in Hollywood.

    She could have more diversity in front of the camera (although is is better then most shows), I have no idea what behind the scenes are like but based on all work places I’m sure it could be better.

    That being said the entire argument loses all merit when it comes from New York magazine in an article attacking Mindy and Aniz for dating white peoplw on their show when they go out of their way to praise all things Lena Dunham and Amy Shummer. And I’m sorry but in the how many seasons of girls and not one of them has dated interracially? In Brooklyn?!?!? Sorry not realistic and is their a minority in Amy’s cast? But let’s be real if girls or Amy did date interracially the media would call it Progressive with Mindy and Aniz they have self hate and aren’t doing enough.

    Now again she could do better, but she isn’t the worst and she shouldn’t get called out this much. Also people need to make up their mind if “love is love” with the lgbt group it is with interracial dating. It is no big deal people do it all the time. Love is love and it’s great.

    • Neha says:

      I watch the show and Mindy is definitely not written as a smart woman in control. She didn’t know that Hillary was running for president, doesn’t know what a condo is, etc. And, she had to practically beg Danny to date her, then get engaged to her. She’s confident, but that’s really it.

      • K says:

        She is written as incredibly smart, she is an insanely accomplished doctor who is the only one in her practice ever chosen for fellowships or higher positions by people of authority. She doesn’t care about politics and non celebrity current events that doesn’t mean she isn’t smart it means she doesn’t care and isn’t informed or paying attention. More common then I think most of us want to admit, and that is the point.

        Also she didn’t beg Danny to date her he chased her for years, and she also didn’t beg him to propose she was clear from go what she was looking for and Danny said he wanted it so when it changed she got upset, rightfully so.

        Regardless it doesn’t change the point that Mindy, Aniz, etc get attacked for these issues while other shows get lauded for brilliance for lesser writing and worse offenses and if it is ever called out by someone the same magazine attacking Mindy rushes to defend these other people and it’s rediculous.

        She could do better but do I think she has self hate? Or is racist? No I think this is stupid and people hating on her for not living up to their standards of what she should be.

    • Lizzie McGuire says:

      I agree! I love Amy Schumer but it’s true she doesnt have a diverse cast or crew, & I’ve never seen any article devoted to criticizing her for it. If they’re going to call out Mindy for it then call out everyone.

      • Algernon says:

        Actually that’s not true, Amy Schumer does have a diverse cast and crew. Her writing staff of 17 includes 9 women, making it over 50% female. Over the course of her series so far she’s used seven directors, two women (including herself), and one Asian man, Steven Tsuchida, who’s directed a third of her episodes to date. Of the 16 credited producers over three seasons so far, 8 are women. Further behind the camera stats: 50% of the series editors are female, there are two female second-unit directors, and there are four women on the camera crew. These are positions where you almost never see women at all. Clearly, Amy has prioritized hiring women on her crew, and recurring cast members include Nina Mehta, Tig Notaro (also a writer), Greta Lee, Khalil Muhamed, and Ali Wong, and that’s just a cursory glance. No one is criticizing Amy Schumer because she’s demonstrably committed to diversity.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


        As someone who doesn’t pay much attention to Amy that surprises and impresses me. Good for her. She has a commitment to working for some diversity at least in terms of behind the scenes female representation.

  15. anoninga says:

    Sigh. I dont know. I really liked the Mindy Project for about a year and even convinced my whole family to watch it live on Fox. Soon though my mother was turned off she said “that show is incredibly racist towards blacks.” I kept watching it for a time after that quibble but even I started to see. I like Mindy and I think she’s damned good at her job and carving a place for herself in a harsh industry, but I’d be lying if I didn’t think that she has some big race issues personally that manifest themselves on her show.

  16. Erica_V says:

    I think she hires mostly her friends to work on her show, regardless of race. Judd Aptoe (sp?) does it all the time too right?

    Plus her show was in jeopardy most of season 2, then cancelled for a bit before getting picked up by Hulu so not the most reliable job for cast/crew either.

    • Erinn says:

      Yeah – I’m under the impression she likes working with people she likes working with. If that makes sense. She has the woman who played Lauren as a writer on her show, and she was previously a writer for 30 Rock – I wouldn’t be kicking away a 30 Rock writer if I were working on getting a show to stick. And I know one of the guys (I forget his name now) has some writing credits from the Office – so she would have worked with him before, and would have had a working relationship with him already.

      Could she bring in more diversity? Absolutely. But I don’t think it’s fair for her to be singled out for it. Aziz has admitted how hard it was for him to cast an Asian actor as Brian, and how he almost turned the role into a woman’s role. This was his quote:

      “I had to cast an Asian actor for “Master of None,” and it was hard. When you cast a white person, you can get anything you want: “You need a white guy with red hair and one arm? Here’s six of ’em!” But for an Asian character, there were startlingly fewer options, and with each of them, something was off. Some had the right look but didn’t have comedy chops. Others were too young or old. We even debated changing the character to an Asian woman, but a week before shooting began, Kelvin Yu, an actor from Los Angeles, sent in an audition over YouTube and got the part.”

      Like – yes, he accomplished it. But he had to really really dig. It doesn’t always work out. There are wonderful diverse actors out there- but they won’t always fit the role needed. And there isn’t the same kind of encouragement for them to get into acting because of the limited roles available. It’s a problem that exists at all levels – CEO’s, writers, casting directors, agents – everyone. It’s not fair to expect Mindy to solve the problem. It’s something that absolutely needs to be overhauled, but it’s going to take major work on all levels.

    • Ughhhhhh says:

      I agree. She hired people she already knew or worked with, and bc she’s been in Hollywood many years, that pool of people is mostly white. Like her character I think she’s not very politically minded and prioritized making the art she wanted over diversity. She could do better and I hope she will in future endeavors. But I think the way it’s used as a bludgeon against her constantly is sexist and racist.

  17. sara says:

    I don’t blame Mindy. As a WOC myself, I find that white guys are so hot. Mindy likes to do kissing scenes in her show. She casts guys she finds attractive. How can anyone hate on someone so honest about doing kissing scenes on film? Actors are rarely that honest. Go Mindy! She writes her own show! Does that girl from Quantico write her show? Doubt it. That Vulture writer can kick rocks.

    • Naya says:

      So she treats the casting sheet as some kind of Tinder app? Btw, if a male Executive Producer/lead actor said he hires actresses based on who he really wants to feel up, it would be international news. Creepy, sleezy and unprofessional doesn’t begin to cover it.

      • K says:

        No she never said that, lord. She has casted people she knows and is friends with or that her co-workers do for the most part. I also think a lot of the boyfriends have been cast to try to get a male demo to watch her show- considering they are from always sunny and workaholics.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


  18. Fanny says:

    I stuck with The Mindy Project for three seasons and had to quit because ALL the women characters – except for Mindy – were stupid, unimportant, and the butt of the joke. Tamra was a particularly bad black stereotype, but all the women characters were offensive to me.

    Also, the show was overrun with immature, cocky white boys. Dr. MIndy didn’t just exclusively date them, they also made up most of the supporting and recurring characters. And the problem there was mainly that unlike MIndy Kaling, who has filled her writer’s room up 100% with exactly that kind of dude, I didn’t find them funny.

    Offensive + unfunny = me not liking show. My expectations of Mindy aren’t higher than my expectations of anyone else.

    • sanders says:

      I’ve been watching the show from the beginning and I still am because I’m so desperate to see WOC on TV.

      I too have the same issues with her show as Fanny and many others.
      Here is my experience of watching the Mindy Project. I’m tuning in because the main character is a dark skinned, chubby Indian woman, something that I have never seen on television. I start watching the show and it’s full of exactly what Fanny described ‘immature cocky white boys’. I kind of feel like I’ve been tricked, like a bait and switch scenario. I know its fiction but some aspects of the show really stretches one’s imagination, especially the all white male OBGYN (except for Mindy) in a female dominated specialty.

      The other thing that annoys me about Mindy Kaling is that she has decided that she is not going to be a Shonda Rhimes or do what Spike Lee talked about in his honorary oscar speech… bring poc up with her. That is fine, that his her choice but she shouldn’t be upset if people observe that fact and give her more flack for it than white show runners. It’s called racism. She is on the giving end of it as POC with power who has decided not to make an effort to cast poc on her show. She clearly is not that concerned about the discrimination that face poc in the television industry. Now, when she gets called out on her exclusionary casting practices, she cries racism. And yes it is racist that she is singled out and white show runners aren’t , but,when she is doing very little to address the issue beyond her own personal gain, I consider her a part of the problem.

  19. Cynthia says:

    Diversity in TV/films has become more and more of an important topic in the last years and nowadays most shows get questioned about their lack of diversity. Even 90’s shows like Friends are made fun of for how overwhelmingly white they were. If Friends wasn’t credible as a show set in the most diverse city in the US, so isn’t the Mindy Project.
    I don’t think that ONLY Mindy among all the showrunners should get questioned, but she shouldn’t being shut out of the conversation because she’s a minority either. I applaud her for being talented and having her own show, but if Shonda Rhimes can work towards diversity in her shows because she knows how hard it is for a minority to be represented, why shouldn’t Mindy? Why shouldn’t she get asked why her show isn’t more diverse? And get criticism if a character is perceived as a stereotype? She should get the same questions white showrunners get; and nowadays diversity is really relevant.

  20. Lille says:

    I feel bad for her, because it seems like she is taking on so many issues on the show. Being a working Mom, getting married or not, being a bit overweight, etc, etc. her character is so relatable to me, even though I have made a lot of different choices in my life.

    The thing that sticks out to me, more than racial issues, is that all of the male characters (except Morgan) seem to be womanizers, and total jerks. Their characters eventually get fleshed out more, but it seems weird.

  21. Robyn says:

    I love Mindy Kaling – really. I’ve read both of her books many times, and her show is one of my favorites.


    Shonda Rhimes has used her platform to show America “as it really looks” – with people of all races, orientations, etc. Aziz Ansari, same, working with people of color, casting an African American lesbian as one of his best friends.

    Effie Brown, the producer portrayed as the hero on Project Greenlight, tells a great story: when she got her first break, when an African American woman gave Effie her first job, the woman said to her, “I’m going to help you out, and all I ask in return is that you reach back yourself, when you succeed.” And Effie did that – if you watched Project Greenlight, beyond all the drama, the entire crew was diverse, from the editor to the location scout. Effie believed that her success gave her a responsibility to lift up those coming behind her.

    Meanwhile, Mindy’s show – which she consistently refers to as “MY show” – is staffed, behind the camera AND in front of it, almost entirely with white people, and white men. Her writing staff. The directors. The cast. Mindy’s own love interests. Almost entirely white.

    Look, she doesn’t have a legal responsibility. And she’s right, she is hardly the first offender. But it makes me sad, and it makes me respect her less, that unlike Shonda, Aziz and Effie, Mindy has not used her power or her platform to lift up others.

    • Sam says:

      Here’s my issue with this (and I’m of mixed background myself): I’m all for reaching out and helping people of color in a variety of industries. However, I take an issue with it when it becomes a problem of merit. For example, I’m part of a social group for women of color who craft and produce their own clothes and jewelry, and a while ago we decided to create a little online shop to showcase the stuff. And every once and while, we get somebody new approaching us about putting their stuff on the site. Which is totally fine. And a few months ago, a woman I know who is Native American (similar to me) met with me about getting her stuff on the site. And she showed me the samples of jewelry and small textiles she makes. And you know what? They were lousy. There were some serious construction issues, questionable choices, etc. And I declined to place the stuff on the site. And she got so irate, and she basically said, “You’re like me, you have a responsibility to help me out” – etc. And all I could say back was “I’d have a responsibility if you had merit. I believe in advancing meritorious people of color who display actual talent and skill. You are not one of them.” And I keep coming back to that. It would be awesome if there were tons of meritorious people of color in every single field. But sadly, they are often super-hard to find. And while I commend people who do the searching, I also totally get that sometimes, there are other factors – like time and cost as well. So while I’m sympathetic to the idea of bringing people with you when possible, I also get that it’s not so simple and that merit still has to be the winning factor of the day.

      • Algernon says:

        I said it before but I’ll say it again, there are many *many* talented minority and female people in the industry struggling to find work. You do not have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find talented minority and female filmmakers. They’re out there in droves and no one is hiring them.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      This. It gives me flashes of the old joke that when whites climb the ladder of success they take their friends along with them and scout out and give opportunities to other whites, when (some) minorities are successful they pull the ladder up.


      I agree no one should hire someone who is subpar merely because of their race but as far as acting and screen work we then run into the question again and again if magically every single minority person just wasn’t good enough. If as a rule they’re all substandard and lesser and I simply don’t believe that.

      I think when you read interviews and excerpts you see a lot of talented people being shown the door because a white person couldn’t bring themselves to emphasize with a minority person, or in this case a minority person couldn’t bring themselves to give empathy to another minority besides themselves.

      The truth is if we wait for the world to become perfectly diverse with the majority of the casting being done by whites we will be waiting for decades more which is ridiculous. Like so many things in life it is whether we will do for ourselves or whether we are happy with few to nothing.

      • Sam says:

        My problem is not with promoting diversity – I find that to be an admirable goal. I do take issue with the idea that a person of color who has “made it” has a primary responsibility to the race, or ethnicity, above all else and that they should possibly risk their own standing to do so. In my situation, I was not going to put my name out there to promote an artist who is simply not that good solely because she is a WoC. She still has to bring merit. And I think part of that is being able to tell the difference between a person with raw ability who needs some polish and guidance vs. a person of no merit who is better left passed over. I think that is a big distinction that me, personally. And a lot of people do not have that ability, or they simply don’t care.

        I do think it is possible for white people to create diverse pictures. As much as I dislike his politics, Clint Eastwood has done some films that are pretty positive towards PoC and casts them a decent amount (and is the only director to hire an actual Native American actor to play Ira Hayes, which was a massive big deal). Kevin Costner managed to make a film that gave Native Americans an honest, sensitive portrayal. So white people can do it. And PoC can screw up royally (Look at the Last Airbender for an example of that). The problem to me is priorities. But I don’t think attacking Mindy Kahling is the right fight.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        No one should be hired if they are subpar merely because of their race, however we have to ask ourselves if that is the reason every time a minority person is denied a job. So automatically we just have to assume that out of all those who apply the minority individuals are by nature lesser and flawed. Ok, fine I could accept that – IF we didn’t have evidence to prove otherwise. If we had not heard it from directors mouths that they simply didn’t bother hiring minorities because they didn’t feel it was worth it. Not because of talent or skill. Not when minority actors themselves admit applying for roles that were white washed or lightened and that their darker skin tone is what doomed their efforts. In your case you examined the girl’s work and deemed it unacceptable but in other cases we have people who’s credits are amazing getting passed over by someone with lighter skin and less talent.

        Ironically The Last Airbender is an example of this. A show about a nation that features several different regions of Asian culture was somehow whitewashed to a movie about a group of white children, going so far as to change the pronounciation of character’s names. Perhaps we should not blame individual minority directors and executives but the structures in society put into place that have no problems with whitewashing. Of course then we’d have to ask why people like M. Night and Mindy buy into and fulfill those structures without challenging them.

        I also agree actors/directors like Eastwood and Costener are doing a good job by working with and giving opportunities to minorities, but sadly they are part of a too-small group.

  22. INeedANap says:

    If she had a more diverse cast, I’d bet actual money that all the entitled white boys would be screaming “reverse racism”.

  23. MariaTR says:

    I live next door to the town Mindy grew up in, which is one of the WASPiest, least ethnically diverse, wealthiest suburbs in the Boston area. Insofar as we are shaped by our childhood, I have a little sympathy for her as she was most likely raised alongside super preppy white New Englanders (as was I and I am half Puerto Rican) and that’s just what she is used to. I guess she could try harder to be more inclusive, but I also think it’s unfair to expect her to not only break the glass/white ceiling AND be on the leading edge of social activism. She’s also very very young, so maybe when she’s in a more secure time of her career she can be more of a mentor/role model.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Thank you! Reading through all the comments above, I wanted to point this out too. Mindy, born in Cambridge, MA, grew up in not only one of the wealthiest Boston suburbs, , but in one of the most affluent towns in the entire US, Weston, MA. A town whose population is over 90% white. The only men of color in her neighborhood were probably the guys in her own family or an occasional NBA player. She attended exclusive private schools (BBN in Cambridge, then Dartmouth). Matt Damon, whose a really white guy, but also born and educated in Cambridge (Cambridge Rindge & Latin – a PUBLIC school, then Harvard) had far more exposure to diversity around him growing up then Mindy ever did. She is surrounding herself with what she knows.

      And I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt as far as her anti-affirmative action brother is concerned.

      • Down and Out says:

        I can’t speak to all of Mindy’s experiences, but I went to Dartmouth and it’s not *that* white. As in, over half of the student body isn’t white. I had 2nd gen Chinese and Korean roommates all 4 years. It’s far from perfect (esp. with regards to faculty diversity), but my point is that these experiences people assume surround you into an Anglo-Saxon bubble really aren’t that insular. It can’t be held up as an excuse, sorry.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        By the time she reached Dartmouth at 18, her attitudes had probably been quite established.

      • perplexed says:

        Her brother is pretty annoying. I wonder if that’s why she has a preference for white guys….

    • QQ says:

      THAT right makes TOOONNSSS of sense as to the thing with her that rankles some people about Mindy, not that she is confident or hard working or her work itself, i mean kudos to her for all that stuff I badly want to be on board but I feel that there is that Weirdness is a vibe like that preppy New England thing is what her Aspiration/ideal is, is sorta Intangible but I hear that over and over from other people, especially immigrants and people more in touch with their heritage, which no shade some of our parents expect us kids first generation or not born here to almost erase everything that could make us stick out as others even as it’s obvious to our new locale inhabitants we are NOT blonde Valley Girls?///11 like it always shocks me to hear her in interviews cause her affectations etc are really just dissonant ( especially if you don’t watch her or follow her much, it was like come into the room from the kitchen expecting some lady from California and sorta cock your head to the side?) I remember being struck by that when she was in the Today Show a few years back and the hosts were sorta trying to do the whole Boston Accent gags etc and they asked her and she looked like a lost deer in the headlight and then mumbled something about never picking it up….

      • Wren33 says:

        Yeah, I grew up outside of Boston and people in the affluent suburbs don’t have “Boston” accents, but she does sort of have a Valley Girl vibe to her too, which is odd.

      • MariaTR says:

        Yep, confirming the accent thing. I was born and raised near Mindy and was sent to a Boston private school from age 11 on. No one around me had a Boston accent. Funny enough, my dad was raised in a super blue color Boston Irish neighborhood and worked very hard to get rid of his accent when he “moved up.” There are VERY nuanced racial/ethnic/socio-economic issues at play for someone of color growing up among the wealthy in this area.

      • Kitten says:

        A lot of the discrepancies you hear in accents around here is also due to generational differences in addition to it being class-based.

        My dad grew up in Hingham and has a Boston accent. Granted, when my dad was growing up, Hingham was not nearly as wealthy as it is now–he actually grew up in substantial poverty. I grew up a town over from Hingham and most of the Irish Catholic kids who stayed and went to public school have thick Boston accents. The ones who went off to BC High or Thayer Academy or Notre Dame or whatnot? Not so much. As Boston and its surrounding suburbs become wealthier and wealthier, a strong Boston accent becomes harder to find.

        I could see it being either scenario–maybe Mindy has spent most of her life being subtly influenced by being a minority in a largely white, upper-crust environment or maybe she simply relates to white people more than people of color. But I have to agree with QQ about her vocal cadence/style of speaking. It is…unexpected when you hear it for the first time. TBH, I find it a bit grating.

  24. Reid2010 says:

    Funny…why isn’t anyone up in arms about the fact threat Aziz Ansari’s love interest in Master of None (which is an amazing show btw) why his main love interest (as well as another date) is a white woman? I’ve only heard/read heard accolades about the diversity of the show- which it rightly deserves. Double standard? Seems like.
    My guess is Aziz dates white woman in real life so he’s portraying that on his show. Same with Mindy. I agree with Mindy, as a woman of color she’s being asked to “stick to her own race”. Would we rather her be disingenuous and date men of color when that may not really be her life experience?

    • hmph says:

      I see this irl as well.
      Men can date any “race” or ethnicity but women must “stick to their own”.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Well let’s do the math on this:

      The Mindy Show: ethnically not very diverse, very few women roles, stereotypical role given to black woman, lead dates exclusively white.

      Master Of None: ethnically very diverse, multiple women roles as well as roles given to other minorities, very few stereotypes that are not flipped on their heads and examined, lead dates exclusively white.

      Why do you think people are praising Aziz’s show more? Maybe because he knocked it out of the park in including so many other minority characters that it didn’t rankle that he only (so far) has dated white women?

    • G says:

      Aziz has also received flack for this though. There was an article on Vulture last week about this and in a few other publications. It’s not as if people are just singling out Mindy. Her tweet is actually in reference to the flack she’s received and what Aziz has started to receive.

    • K says:

      The article she was responding to was attacking Mindy and Aniz for dating white people. Aziz just ignored it Mindy called out the hypocrisy.

      I think it should be pointed out that without Mindy making her show and seeing how so many loved her I doubt Aziz would have been able to make his. Sad as that is, she had to break the ceiling and prove it is all ok to have an East Asian as the lead.

    • Algernon says:

      Actually people have brought this up with Aziz and he said in an interview he auditioned women of all ethnicities and he ended up having the best chemistry with Noel Wells, who he cast as Rachel. Then, he was able to get Claire Danes for the married woman role, so he took her. He didn’t set out to cast only white women, and he made a point of saying they looked at a variety of actresses and it came down to who fit best in the part. That’s fair, and that’s even ideal. If you look at an actual variety and it just works out one way, fine. The problem is, many people don’t look at the variety.

      • claire says:

        Noel is Tunisian-Mexican. I already posted this once but apparently that is worthy of comment deletion here?

      • Algernon says:

        Is she? Well, there’s that then.

      • Neha says:

        He even said that if Master of None went one for many, many seasons, he would certainly show Dev dating women of other races and nationalities. He talked about how fascinating two Indiam people dating in the US is and how he definitely wants to show that.

  25. taboo says:

    Why are the doctors in the OBGYN practice all men, aside from Mindy? Each time there’s an opportunity to bring in a female doctor (when a male leaves), she brings in another man. Even the doctors upstairs (her rivals) are both men. I know there was one woman doctor at a hospital they cut to once in a while, but I’d think that a busy new york OBGYN practice would at least have two female doctors.
    Granted, I don’t watch the show much anymore, so maybe this has changed.

    • Fanny says:

      That was one of my problems too, taboo. OB/GYN’s are overwhelmingly female in the real world, but on Mindy’s show, they are all fratty white males except for her. Mindy could have had meaningful woman characters on the show other than her but she and her writers don’t seem to know how to write a funny female character who isn’t a racial stereotype or a weirdo spinster.

      (Again, all of my observations are through Season 3 of the show because I stopped watching after that.)

    • Ginevra says:

      Agree 100% and this is the reason I think I am giving up on this show…sadly, because it is one of the few that always make me laugh out loud, and for 3 seasons I have LOVED it. But this latest doctor, the one with the gratingly horrible fake southern accent, is pretty much the last straw. Just rename the freaking show “all the remaining male OBGYNs in the United States, and Mindy Project.”

  26. lizzie says:

    i get what people are saying about diversity behind the camera – but – it is kind of misguided to say she doesn’t she doesn’t have enough diversity in front of OR behind the camera. mindy kaling still has a boss herself. i’m sure she has a lot of control as a show runnner but she still works for FOX (hulu is a Fox company) and i’m sure she doesn’t have final say on every single hire of EVERY SINGLE of writing, producing, shooting or marketing of her show. give her a damn break!

    • Algernon says:

      Except Fox has publicly discussed the diversity hiring initiatives it started, which resulted in shows like Glee, Sleepy Hollow, and Brooklyn 99. The Mindy Project was part of that, too, as Fox was the only network willing to back Kaling on her own show. Her bosses at Fox would have been encouraging her to use their in-house diversity initiatives, including a writers workshop, producer corps, and camera/director training program, to hire for her staff. It appears she did not use these resources.

  27. Jay says:

    Unpopular opinion: I don’t see why every show *needs* diversity. Let’s be real. There are MANY people whose core friend group is all one race. It depends on where you grew up, really. My hometown was almost completely white and Catholic, unfortunately. The only African American people in our school were brought in from the inner city, and they cliqued up and didn’t mingle at all.

    Some people were lucky enough to grow up in a culturally and racially diverse area and have well-rounded friend groups.. others not so much. I’ve seen all Asian, all Hispanic, all white, and all black groups quite commonly, and I don’t necessarily think it’s wrong for TV shows to depict that.

    • Fanny says:

      That argument doesn’t wash since Mindy’s show is set smack in the middle of New York City in the medical profession. It’s not a show about a small town full of white men with no professional women around.

      It would be one thing for her to depict her friends and family as one race, but she depicts that entire world as one race and mostly one gender (male) which it most definitely is not.

      • perplexed says:

        Yeah, I don’t get why she didn’t set the show somewhere in the Midwest or something if she wanted to show mostly whites in a hospital setting where she happens to be the only Indian doctor. Although even in the Midwest you’ll still find more than one Indian doctor in a hospital. Indians dominate a lot in medicine. Maybe she shouldn’t have made her character an OB/GYN. When I’m watching the show I’m wondering why she’s the only Indian doctor in that NYC hospital.

      • Jay says:

        Very good point. I don’t watch the show, so I don’t know much about it. But an all white, all male doctor’s office in NYC doesn’t sound particularly realistic.

      • Sam says:

        perplexed: Mindy modeled her character after her late mother, who was an OB/GYN in real life. She’s been really open that the character is partially an homage to her mom, so that is why she picked that job for her.

      • Fanny says:

        And it can’t be excused because of Mindy’s background because speaking as someone who lives in the Boston suburbs and frequents the many, many, many medical facilities around here – tons of Indian doctors, tons of women doctors, tons of doctors of various other non-white ethnicities. If I had to list out all of the doctors I have seen, the white males are in the minority.

      • perplexed says:

        Though she based the character on her mom, she had to realize at some point that people would find it jarring that there are no other Indian doctors in the NYC hospital she created for her show. The location and the profession together make the lack of other Indian doctors on the show more noticeable than, say, not seeing Indian people in Central Perk on Friends.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Those TV shows that are all-fill in the blank are usually filling in a vacuum left by the larger more dominant TV shows that don’t have any minorities.

      Sex and the City never had any recurring minority cast members and only one prominent minority role given AFTER the series and for the sake of the movie.

      So we have friends. A show about 4 young black successful women who faced the same issues that Hollywood seemed to think didn’t apply to black women.

      Friends needs no explanation but ask the average person if they ever watched Living Single and they’ll probably draw a blank. Many times all-minority shows are desperately trying to put SOME minority characters on TV in a world (like Mindy’s ) in which they seem not to exist.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        *Girlfriends not Friends

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Actually, Blair Underwood was a recurring cast member on SATC but otherwise, yes, you’re right

      • SloaneY says:

        It’s interesting because in the late 80’s/early 90’s there were lots of African American shows. I regularly watched A Different World, Fresh Prince, 227. And these shows built from other strong AA shows in the 70’s and 80’s. It seems like there aren’t nearly as many today? I’m not sure if it’s because instead of “filling the gaps” they’re trying more for “integration”? I don’t know.

      • Kitten says:

        Yes I though about Blair too. And now I’ll probably be thinking about him for the rest of the day…..
        But I digress…

        I wonder if SATC would be more diverse if it was being made now, you know? I’ve seen so much more of a push for diversity in even just the past five years. We still have a long way to go but at people are finally starting to catch on that the strongest casts in television right now are not coincidentally, the most diverse casts.

    • lobbit says:

      “I’ve seen all Asian, all Hispanic, all white, and all black groups quite commonly, and I don’t necessarily think it’s wrong for TV shows to depict that.”

      I don’t think it’s wrong for shows to depict that either. They problem is that they don’t. The TV and film landscape is overwhelmingly white.

  28. Lazy beautiful says:

    The prob is that it is called the Minday Peoject and I feel like it should be called the Chris Messina show…. We have met all meme need of his family, his mom has a reoccurring part and we have seen Mindys family once. there is also a rotating cast of white men, this season is the southern foghorn leghorn guy, all funny but it’s exasperating ….also not realistic when there are so many actual asian and East Asian doctors IRL, I don’t think Mindy is going to be in it for the long game anyway because the show is too generic and messy…. Shonda and aziz have proven that they will show us diversity and are not afraid to tackle it and I think that’s rewarded with longevity and appreciation from fans of color

  29. mindydopple says:

    By my name alone, and by admission. I am a huge Mindy fan. I love how quirky the show is, but the I caught a few seconds of the New Girl and it was her and 4 men in 1 apartment, that’s the premise right? No one is yelling at her about that. Yes hers happen to be doctors and in this make believe world, it just happened that way, and it’s designed to bring some male viewers in, she’s trying to be succussful, and shes never said she’s mother Teresa. Yeah, she could be more inclusive but like someone else said, she didn’t grow up that way at all, she grew up in a waspy white part of Boston. She’s doing her best and man, she’s getting teared down. No one is yelling at Tin Fey for casting her one black man on her show “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ” as the sassy black gay…. and he won an Emmy for it. She doesn’t have to be all things to everyone just because she’s a woman and a minority. This should also be feminism. We’re not perfect nor should you expect us to be.

    • Alarmjaguar says:

      To be fair, in The New Girl Zoey D. has a really strong best friend who is on the show almost every week. I actually love the portrayal of female friendship on this show, even though I find ZD’s relationships with men ridiculous. There’s also incredible racial diversity among the main cast members — 2 African American men and an Indian woman out of the 6 leads.

      • Neha says:

        Yeah, New Girl is actually an amazingly diverse show. Last season, half of their main cast (Cece, Winston, coach) were POC. They’ve also shown all of the main cast dating broadly, in terms of color.

  30. jugstorecowboy says:

    I would like to recommend the guy who played Ando in Heroes as an Asian love interest. That dude is hot!

  31. lobbit says:

    I don’t care that Mindy dates white dudes on her show, but I automatically side eye any person of color that never, ever, ever, EVER shows interest in dating other people of color. Human beings are tribal, so it’s a very curious thing to me when one seems to completely overlook all members within their “tribe” in favor of another (especially when that other tribe comprises the dominant culture in society).

    • FingerBinger says:

      You could make the case that they hate the mirror image of themselves. However you could apply that to whites that only date outside their race.

    • hmph says:

      Yeah but she grew up in a “white tribe” as a lone wolf if you will, and in that case you tend to adapt to your environment.
      I would understand your point if she was raised in her parents native country and then moved to America, but she didn’t. Or if she was raised in a more diverse area in America.
      The only indian men she probably knew were her family.
      I don’t know why this is so hard for people to understand….if you raise your kid in an all white community, what do you expect to happen? Their first crush will probably be white, their first kiss will probably be from a white boy/girl, their first date….you get my point. Our childhood shapes our lives and our preferences. She is probably more comfortable with white men because they were her first romantic experiences.
      It is as simple as that and I doubt it’s about hating yourself or mirror image because let’s face it, she seems to love herself. (nothing wrong with that, self love/confidence is a good thing!).

      • lobbit says:

        What you’re saying isn’t at all hard to understand, it’s just not universally true and not at all “simple.” I grew up among white folks, went to predominantly white schools, and shared my first kiss with someone outside of my tribe – and yet I’ve dated both men within and outside of my race.

      • SloaneY says:

        This^. My best friend in school was Filippino. There were a few Fillipinos in our town, but most of the people we went to school with were white or black. My friend preferred white guys. It wasn’t racial prejudice, she certainly didn’t hate herself. She just had a preference. It just didn’t happen to be her race. She’s now happily married to a white guy.

      • hmph says:

        “(especially when that other tribe comprises the dominant culture in society).”

        Minorities tend to assimilate to the dominant culture.
        And even if she simply does have a preference for white guys – so what? Why does that mean she hates herself or men of her “race”?
        Again, she didn’t grow up with her “tribe” so it is understandable. if anything, I’d “side eye” POC who live in a majority POC environment and only show interest in the lightest, whitest person they can find.. That actually does happen a lot, just look at the African American (male) community. The men show an early preference for the lighter skinned members of their group, even when raised in Memphis or Atlanta and that’s if they can’t get their hands on a latina or white woman.
        I find that disturbing but it seems more accepted somehow.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        I affirm this. I’m white but I grew up a minority (more accurately, one of many minority groups) in a primarily Chinese and Indian immigrant community. I never got American stereotypes about Chinese ppl=nerds, etc. To me, they were all the cool kids at school and who I wanted to be like, to date, etc. You tend to want to be/are attracted to whatever you saw in front of you when you went through puberty.

  32. lobbit says:

    “also think that everyone’s allowed to have their “type,” you know? ”
    Race is not a type. There is too much physical diversity within each race to ever be reduced to a “type.” Not all white folks look the same. Not all black folks look the same. Not all asian folks look the same.

  33. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    It sucks for her that she can’t ‘be all’ but realistically we’re living in a world in which if she – given her opportunities, success, and position – does not then there is no guarantee ANYONE will.

    Mindy created this weird vacuum of a show where she plays a cliche of someone I don’t think there’s a huge desire to see. Minorities aren’t always the stereotypes they’re portrayed to be but there’s something to be said about growing up as Mindy did in neighborhoods that are very different from your ethnicity and how that makes you an ‘other’. How you adapt and what you become as a result. While Mindy could have stayed herself she could have also challenged herself to create a show environment that brings something new to the table.

    Generic quirky girl roles can be handled by folks like Zooey. I’m sure there’s a huge audience for that. But having a show that pokes fun at some of Mindy’s expectations or her background probably would have done better than the strange all white all male – oh wait, except for one other, utopia her character lives in.

  34. Lrm says:

    Aziz has only dated white women on Master so far. I haven’t watched all the episodes yet. I agree his show is great and doesn’t feel tone deaf when it comes to race or dating, thus far. For him it seems to be about his writing an Indian male lead who has love interests period. One episode he mentions how indian guys are usually the side kick and aren’t the ones “f*cking the girls” so yea there’s another issue in this. The usual role of women on tv and their rel ation to male lead narratives.

    Case in point he is praised on this threas but the character has dated white women thus far with the exception of a dating service dinner date. I haven’t seen mindys show but it sounds like Master of none has more depth and seems real and less caricature like.

    • Algernon says:

      He’s addressed this in interviews, saying he auditioned women of every description and ended up clicking best with Noel Wells, who he cast as Rachel. Given that the issue has been raised with him, though, I bet we see a woman of color as a love interest in Master on None, season two.

      Also, in Master Dev has a diverse friend group and his peers at work are diverse as well (the commercial episode). His world is very mutli-cultural, so it doesn’t stand out as much that he’s dating a white girl. There is also an entire episode devoted to the trials and tribulations of dating someone from a different race, so it’s not like he doesn’t pretend it’s not happening. Mindy always seems so annoyed when people bring this up with her, it’s like she doesn’t want to address it all. Aziz is willing to engage with it.

      • K says:

        To be fair he is now but he refused to speak about it until now. The entire time he was on Parks he wouldn’t discuss race or how it was difficult to find jobs as an Indian American man. Mindy has discussed this, she also has never not said she hasn’t had open casting the difference with Mindy and Aziz is with Mindy people associate who she dates on the show with her real life. So I think she isn’t just taking it as an attack on her hiring practice but on her personally life. And as someone who dates outside her race (and has zero self hate as she is often accused of) I can see why this would enrage her. If it was just about her show she probably wouldn’t be as annoyed but since they follow it up with such a personal attack on her character and self worth and not just a critique of her show.

        She could do better on her show, but to judge her taste in men as some overall view on her self worth is unfair.

  35. Luffy says:

    I think that it sends a message when Monday is not dating men of her own race and it’s a message that Indian men aren’t good enough. How often are any Asian men portrayed as desirable and date worthy? Not very often. It seems like an issue that when given a platform an Indian woman wouldn’t seek to portray Indian men in a different light. What I don’t like about this interview is mind deflects a lot.

    • hmph says:

      Have you ever considered that maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that Mindy is a darker shade of brown (she is darker than many black women) and India’s cast system aren’t really friendly towards women of her shade? Do you know how women of Mindy’s coloring are treated in India by Indian men? Awful.
      That and the fact that she was raised in a white community, in an all white neighborhood, somewhere in an upper crusty Boston suburb, yeah I kinda see where she is coming from and why she is the way she is.

      • SloaneY says:

        Stop. You’re making too much sense.

      • Lucy says:

        Exactly. I’m British of Asian ancestry. I might have dark skin but I am 100% BRITISH and anyone who says otherwise is flat out racist. I learn about and love my ancestor’s country but it’s not MY country and it never will be.

        Insisting otherwise is racist in various different ways. For one thing I’ve noticed that whenever someone is of mixed heritage (both mixed race and people raised outside their ‘native’ country), white society always puts the emphasis on the darker heritage. Like if you’re half white half black, embracing your black side/heritage is applauded, while embracing your white side/heritage is reviled as ‘ignoring your culture’ or pretending to be something you’re not. I feel this has more to do with white society trying to cast out anyone who isn’t “pure” white.

        Saying that I am not British, is just an attempt to further the idea that British=white. Criticizing Minday Kaling for acting American when she is American furthers the idea that American=white.

    • Neha says:

      Yeah, it does seem like she thinks landing a white man is an accomplishment. Mindy gave a quote a while back about how she doesn’t really identify with her Indian culture that much and I was like “yup, that explains SO much!”

      • Lucy says:

        I don’t know anything much about her but skin colour=/=heritage. If she was raised in America, then she’s an American, period, and she doesn’t have to identify as anything other than American if she doesn’t want to. A white American can go through life never even knowing where they’re family immigrated from and no one cares. The fact this double standard exists is racist.

        Mindy is not obligated to identify as anything other than what she identifies as.

      • Neha says:

        Lucy, sorry but not the same thing. The fact is that if you’re a second generation immigrant from India (or any Asian country, really), your parents had to make a lot of sacrifices to get here and they probably faced quite a bit of racism and obstacles when they got here. To not identify as Indian just tells me that she’s ashamed of all the sacrifices that were made to give her the life she has: this IS the same woman that wrote the line “I know my ID says I’m white, blonde, and 5’10, but I think ids should be aspirational”. How is that not messed up??

    • Lucy says:

      So now women of colour should be banned from choosing their own sexual partners, because it’s far more important that they be “positive tokens of racial representation” than autonomous women?

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Like it or not but TV shows are cultural commentary.

        Art can not exist without being evaluated and examined. A TV show about an Indian woman who (so far) NEVER dated a fellow Indian man then yeah, that’s a deliberate choice that will be studied.

        Shockingly, deliberate choices made about the portrayal of minority individuals are important to other minority individuals. Nothing exists in a vacuum.

      • sanders says:

        On the actual show, The Mindy Project, the character is referred to as an Indian American woman, brown woman and woman of colour. All these descriptors have been used by the writers. She and her writers are bringing attention to the ethnicity of the character. Is it any surprise that viewers are responding to this and have opinions regarding the representation of an American Indian woman?

        If Mindy Kaling is going to use her poc identity to fuel the jokes on her show, then she should be open to commentary on representation.

      • Neha says:

        No one is telling Mindy who to date. It’s who to cast on her show. VERY different things.

  36. Sarah01 says:

    She should date whoever she wants! Who says you have to date only within your ethnicity or culture. I like that fact she is very confident and is doing what she wants. shes not beautiful but is talented enough to have her own show – good for her!
    I do think if she was prettier and slimmer people wouldnt dislike her as much.

  37. Pandy says:

    Poor Mindy. She can’t just be an entertainer, she has to solve all the racial injustice in the world. Girl’s never gonna win that one.

  38. Jennifer says:

    I love her- I think she’s a genius and a great writer and actress. I love her work. She’s only being bashed because she’s Indian- she doesn’t owe anything to anyone…let her work her art.

  39. dana says:

    I agree with her answers… she’s right. But i also agree its always good to push for diversity behind the camera. I love Mindy. Like really love her. BUT I do have big issues with her brothers ploy to rail against Affirmative Action and twist it into something its not meant to be. And Mindy sat and didn’t comment – so the fact she’s being asked about diversity which she says is important, her brother worked try to degrade and dismantle the corner stone of the civil act that tried to guarantee you be offered a fair shot or shake. There’s irony in there somewhere. I also disagree that all of HW is being asked to add more diversity and why don’t they include a more diverse cast. Shame on you Mindy, its been asked of plenty in Hollywood esp this year alone. If you run a show, try inclusion behind the camera. She has the power to implement change – so her answer should notbe – well ask someone else. We call can do better.

  40. So as I am typing this i realize it may come off as cray…. but here goes

    Mindy is the type of WOC that benefited as the token in all her life…. she really doesnt even know how she comes off or how she is perceived…… even down to how she looks. She needs to realize that she is a darkskinned extremely curvy South Asian woman and she is perceived as that and she will never be a blonde waif looking woman nor be included in those circles nor should she want to.

    I’ve seen several of her interviews and its a shame that she comes off kinda tone deaf in a darkskinned indian woman’s body. In the development of that character (im not gonna slaughter or bother typing that name) she was playing inot the stereotype and should have said WTF in the writers room when the ish was being written up. But no sadly she didnt…..

    i see this all the time…. I had an asian coworker who for the life of me I really felt thought she was white…. i had to sit her down as say…..realize your asian and that’s just as great and you dont have to be a token nor allow yourself to be exoticismed nor play dumb on the racial/ethnic social construct bs that is the norm in the world,….and that includes playing into stereotypes, not opening the figurative door to other WOC/POC, nor downplay your asian-ness ….over the 3 years I knew her…. she kinda got that in the end.

    but Mindy is dead ass wrong here….. this comment nor and interview nor twitter responses is not gonna cut it…. sit down and have a reall look and talk to the mirror….it’ll help


    Mindy would be a smash if she looked like Fried Pinto….. deep down inside she probably wishes she did. and that’s extremely sad

    • Ash says:

      I completely understand what you’re trying to say here. It’s something I’ve noticed too.

    • AlmondJoy says:

      I think your assessment of her is spot on.

    • Lucy says:

      I don’t know who Mindy Kaling is (non-US) but I find this kind of comment problematic.

      Asian people are not a single entity, there is no one way Asian people are expected to behave. There is a racist history of using insults like ‘bounty bar’ to attack and keep down people of colour. I’ve been accused of “pretending to be white” or “thinking I’m white” simply for going to university, or for speaking in the accent my entire family and neighbourhood speak in. Like, just because my grandparents happened to come from another country, I’m supposed to pretend to be someone I’m not?

      A big problem with racism and progress and tokenism is the fact that non-white people are expected to be representatives of their race in a way white people never are. White men are allowed to do whatever the hell they like, be assholes, be ignorant, hell even be rapists and murderers without anyone even ever thinking to say “you’re making white men look bad.” Until we reach the day when a person of colour can be judged as an individual and not as a representation of their entire race, racism will still be a big problem.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Until persons of color are actually treated with equal respect and given equal opportunities then they will always be looked at as a representation of others. We’re talking about a society that is still deeply unfair and it will not stop being unfair merely if someone pretends they’re not judged as a representative.

        Fair or not it is life. The way to overcome unfairness isn’t to pretend it doesn’t exist but to beat it back and force balance into society.

        For instance if there were more Indian women given prominent roles in TV shows then perhaps Mindy wouldn’t be judged so harshly. But the truth is she’s one of two in prime time English television compared to literally thousands of white women. Obviously she is held to a different standard because her message will reach millions of other Indian women not given her opportunities, if she screws up she will also effect the opportunities of other Indian women.

  41. LAK says:

    Just came to say that’s the first RC outfit I haven’t wanted to re-style. That colour suits her perfectly.

  42. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Keeping in mind that people do just fall in love and I’m NOT saying that people should stay ‘with their own kind’:

    Many minorities ARE taught that a white mate is the gold standard in every metric. Inversely, the darker, the worse. So, gain acceptance from white mates and you’ll be golden, too.

  43. Meg says:

    have you read her books? watched her interviews? she’s smart and witty-I love her. and I dont’ know how you can’t after reading her books and watching her interviews

  44. Patty says:

    I can’t with her. Mostly because of her pining over BJ Novak. I’m like “grow up and get some self respect”. You are in your thirties. I get that she clearly has a preference for white guys, which whatever; that’s her thing. Although in my opinion preferring someone of your own “race” is quite different than preferring people of another race. And unfortunately, the latter can often be a by-product of other issues.