Mindy Kaling has been criticized lately in the media for not having enough ‘diversity’ in characters on her show, ‘The Mindy Project.’
Now it kind of hurts me to see people hate on Kaling because her show has done so much for women and even racism on television shows, and just because certain characters that get more screen time are of a certain race, doesn’t mean the woman isn’t diverse enough…. but Kaling get definitely hold her own.
Kaling did a Redditt AMA last week, and it really spoke on her feelings towards the criticism. You guys can read the whole thing at E!News and I will post the link at the bottom of this post. But here is a bit from the interview and how Kaling responded to questions, of course lighter ones were put in between but others included, why The Mindy Project has “very little diversity” and why there are few men of color on the show. She was asked about certain characters, including the character of Tamra, played by African-American actress Xosha Roquemore, and why she is a “stereotypical ‘sassy black woman’ character.”
“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 askedabout 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 cranberryturtleneck 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.”
I love that she says “I’m expected to ‘stick to my own.'” This makes me really wonder how far we have come in regards to racism and diversity, if Mindy Kaling, a self-made Indian, female actress, is getting criticism for not having a more diverse show because her character doesn’t always date men of color. Is this what we really need to focus on? There’re tons of other shows that portray stereotypes all the time, but are never mentioned.
On the fact that she already knew the reporter was referring to the character of Tamra, I am glad she spoke out. It’s important to clarify yourself in Hollywood these days to show people that the media in entertainment can run with things very easily.
interview source: http://ca.eonline.com/news/715557/mindy-kaling-engages-in-a-debate-about-diversity-on-tv-and-thinks-it-s-sad-to-be-pitted-against-priyanka-chopra