Mindy Kaling On Race, Women in Comedy, and Being the Boss

by Brenda Pitt

Mindy Kaling might well be a comedic genius; her lighthearted, girlish humor resonates with profound insights into modern womanhood. She plays characters that are lovable and ambitious, flawed, and fallible. Her comedy is real and honest. 

In her recent interview with Parade, Mindy is just as candid. She eloquently addresses the struggles she faces as a premiere figure in comedy, confessing that as an Indian woman in television, she gets treated differently. Although her work is complex and nuanced, it often gets overlooked because she is a minority in comedy. She appreciates the fact that she’s a role model to young girls, but she explains, “while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art.”

She also finds the attention given to her appearance insulting. As a non-white woman, she feels that she gets extra scrutiny, “I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ […] what [that] means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person […] Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?” I get what she’s saying. How many male celebrities do you think are asked that question in an average work week?

She also has had her share of anxiety about being a HBIC (head bitch in charge). She describes it as wonderful but lonely. She knows she’s going to step on some toes when she’s running things, and she is in some ways more comfortable “[being] part of the gang”. 

Mindy, you’re always part of the gang. The gang of women everywhere who make sure to be home on time Tuesdays for The Mindy Project.



Thanks to Parade

Image via Paste Magazine

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