But when the time came to field questions from the mostly female audience, one woman posed this query: “You guys have a great, diverse set of characters, but was it a conscious decision for Mindy to be the only female doctor, and the only doctor color of show?” There were a couple of minutes of pleasant response, with co-panelists and Mindy co-stars Ike Barinholtz and Adam Pally earnestly praising their female cast members. But by then, Kaling had lost patience: “I look at shows on TV, and this is going to just seem defensive, but I’m just gonna say it: I’m a fucking Indian woman who has her own fucking network television show, OK?”
Good for her. It gets annoying when you hear a blithering idiot ask canned questions like that. This is why I couldn’t be famous. I can do the whole acting thing, but having to sit and listen to stupid questions without bludgeoning the interviewer with a sock full of quarters would be impossible. Keep going, Mindy.
The audience applauded, but Kaling was just getting started. “I have four series regulars that are women on my show, and no one asks any of the shows I adore — and I won’t name them because they’re my friends — why no leads on their shows are women or of color, and I’m the one that gets lobbied about these things. And I’ll answer them, I will. But I know what’s going on here.” Some laughter (some of it nervous) echoed through the ballroom. “It is a little insulting because, I’m like, God, what can I — oh, I’m sitting in it. I have 75 percent of the lines on the show.”
Man, you have to feel for the reporter for asking such a ridiculous question. But, no, you asked for it.
“And I’m like, oh wait, it’s not like I’m running a country, I’m not a political figure,” she continued. “I’m someone who’s writing a show and I want to use funny people. And it feels like it diminishes the incredibly funny women who do come on my show… I don’t know, it’s a little frustrating.” And at this point, Pally piped up: “Well, we took two different tacks in the answer.”
Note to self: Bring my A-game when attending SXSW next year. Also, bring some flip-flops, beer, 3 changes of clothes, a super soaker, fake mustache, and a Ninja Turtle helicopter that can also punch. I’m not very good at packing.