In case you thought that SXSW Film Festival in no way applies to your life, think again ladies! I know we’re all filmed-out after this intense awards season, and maybe you don’t have enough energy to care about the soundbites coming from SXSW right now. But after reading what Mindy Kaling had to say during her panel, I think you’ll change your mind.
Kaling spoke to a packed room of around 2,000 fans about how hard it is to get a network show, let alone to be an Indian American woman show-runner. Listen up, television industry, because Mindy has a piece of her mind to share with you:
“I look at shows on TV — and this is going to seem defensive, but I’m just going to say it — I’m a fucking Indian woman who has her own television show. I have four series regulars that are women on my show, and no one asks these other shows why there are no women or women of color.”
Like her or not, she’s absolutely right. There’s no denying that there is a serious lack of diversity in network television (just one of the many reasons I barely watch it). Because she’s a woman, and a woman of color at that, I can’t even fathom the roadblocks she’s come across in the industry. Thankfully, she’s never let that stop her. After a successful stint writing and acting on The Office, she now stars,directs, writes, and produces The Mindy Project. She’s successful now, but she explains the hardships she faced along the way during her time performing improv:
”People think that you’re not funny because of the way that you look. I think one of the things that’s been helpful to me is I try not to think that much about how I’m an Indian American. I can’t think about my legacy because it stops me from being productive — it’s a distraction. I don’t want to stop being who I am… but I can’t rely on it.”
You can say that again, girl. And based on the way Twitter blew up during her panel, it seems like plenty of people were glad to hear such confidence and honesty. You keep doing you, Mindy!