So, Mindy Kaling’s new show The Mindy Project premiered three days ago with some badass reviews. But like any television show that features something that most audiences aren’t used to — i.e a brown, single woman as protagonist — there’s inevitably going to be some backlash. Le sigh.
I was pretty dumbstruck when I read this Gawker article that claims that Mindy Kaling is the “human equivalent of a retweeted compliment” and then proceeds to destroy her personality, without actually offering any constructive (or destructive) feedback on her writing, acting and producing. You know, the stuff she’s famous for?
While I’m not surprised that a man is attacking the personality of a woman for no other reason than he doesn’t like the fact that she exists, this particular instance strikes a nerve.
Let’s take a look at some of things he says to see if there’s any validity to them:
"Kaling is not the voice of her generation (or a voice of a generation), but she embodies the attitude of one. She uses that vulnerability to her advantage, rendering it a strength. She’s self-effacing to inflate her ego via ensuing audience laughter when she isn’t being flat-out arrogant.”
Why isn’t Kaling the voice of her generation? On the contrary, I see her as one of the many voices of our generation. I’m sorry, but have you taken a look at the census lately? Our “generation” isn’t only funny (white) males. Moreover, what’s wrong with using vulnerability as a strength? EVERY comedian (or comedienne) has one singular goal — making people laugh — and I’ve seen plenty of male comedians being incredibly arrogant with little to no backlash.
Self-aggrandizing and insecurity tend to come in tandem, and it’s impossible to say just how much of which Kaling is exhibiting when she brags … Kaling also frequently engages in the obnoxious practice of retweeing compliments.
Again, what exactly is wrong with this? I’d like to see one person whose moods and self-assuredness does not fluctuate. Insecurity and self confidence often go hand in hand for all sorts of folks — famous or not. Also, retweeting compliments is standard practice for many public figures who are constructing their brand. Are we REALLY hating on someone for a retweet?
Kaling is a lot less adorable than she thinks or she wants you to think she thinks she is…
This is response to one of Mindy’s tweet, which reads “Man am I being annoying on set today,” which can be interpreted in a number of imaginative ways. Methinks Juzwiak is seeing what he wants to see. Funnily enough, the only time Juzwiak talks about the The Mindy Project, he has nothing bad to say…
The show is funny — there’s a particularly terrific joke about her being so afraid to say no that she once left a flea market with a samurai sword. My favorite line that she utters is, “Maybe I won’t get married, you know? Maybe I’ll do one of those Eat, Pray, Lovethings. Ugh, no, I don’t wanna pray. Forget it, I’ll just die alone.”
It’s sad when people try silence women professionals by attacking their personality. The truth is that Juzwiak has nothing bad to say about Kaling’s work. So instead, Gawker became his outlet for thinly veiled misogyny. Maybe we should try to understand why certain people are so uncomfortable with certain women in the media — especially brown women who don’t fit into cookie cutter notions of what women, especially women of color, in the media should be — thin, gorgeous and overly sensual. I think we should be focus on applauding Mindy’s successes — because there is nothing wrong with her personality (a carefully crafted brand or not). And honestly, it’s about time I saw someone on TV that looked like me.