Mindy Kaling is one of my favorite people working in the entertainment industry for a lot of reasons. She’s one of the only women running her own television show right now (the second season of The Mindy Project just started airing)—and while it’s more than little disheartening that we’re somehow still at a point where I even had to type that sentence, at least there’s hope that in the future, there will be MORE women running their own television shows. As many have commented in the past about writer/performers Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig, it’s a start.
What does still suck, though, is this: Because comedy is overwhelmingly dominated by white men and show business is full of skinny white women, Mindy doesn’t fit the mold—which means that she spends a stupid amount of time being asked in interviews about those things. She’s sick of it, and rightly so. Here’s what she has to say in Parade Magazine’s recent profile of her about it:
“There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them. But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art…. I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”
This. A thousand times this. It should be a no-brainer that race, weight, and gender have very little to do with the intellectual acrobatics and sense of humor required to be as funny as writers and performers like Mindy are, right? So why are we still fixated on it? Food for thought, no?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.
Photo Credit: StarTraks Photo