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Why Everyone Turned On Mindy Kaling — 8 Reasons Fans Are Calling Her Out

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Mindy Kaling

As someone who grew up watching Scooby-Doo and having core memories of movies like “Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase” and “Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire,” HBO Max’s newest original animated series, “Velma,” is a massive disappointment.

Although this isn’t yet-another hate piece about the show and the lack of Scooby, it is a piece about why the executive producer Mindy Kaling, is catching a lot of flack because of it and her controversial past that was brought up as a result.

Ever since she starred as Kelly Kapoor in “The Office,” Kaling has made quite a name for herself with various projects of her own like “The Mindy Project” and Never Have I Ever.

Despite her successes as a write-performer, there’s been a massive amount of controversy surrounding her over the years, and it might finally turn the public’s opinion of her around to a negative one as a result of “Velma.”

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Here are 8 reasons why people hate Mindy Kaling.

1. She’s the executive producer of the massive letdown, 'Velma.'

Although only the first two episodes of the animated HBO Max original series have been released, the show currently has a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and boasts a whopping 6% in audience score — that’s really bad.

As the executive producer, co-creator, and voice of Velma Dinkley, Mindy Kaling has caught a lot of flak surrounding the project.

What was wrong with Velma, you might ask? Well, viewers feel that the jokes are bad, the show has nothing to do with Scooby-Doo and doesn’t even include the iconic pup.

Others have argued that the writing is lazy and uninspired, and there are ever-so-subtle conservative debate points masked as attempted jokes interspersed throughout.

Despite that last point, even conservatives are furious with the show because of a kiss that occurs between the two main characters — Velma and Daphne Blake — as well as the blatant picking on white people.

All of this begs the question: who was this for? Not Scooby-Doo fans, not leftists, not right-wingers, and clearly not anyone who enjoys watching quality television.

Many people have made the claim that the whole point of the show was to draw controversy and divisiveness in order to boost views with “hate watchers,” but that’s unconfirmed.

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2. She once called herself 'way conservative.'

In 2007, Kaling wrote a piece in her personal blog — which has since been deleted — titled “Why I Strike” and is often cited when the “Mindy Kaling is a Republican” argument is brought up.

In it, Kaling discusses her views on a Writers Guild strike.

“What most people don’t know about me is that I’m way conservative,” she wrote. “When rumors were circulating this summer about a possible strike, I was annoyed. I was like: ‘I like working, man. I get paid really well to work on a show people actually like. Screw this!’”

Although she turns around and admits to changing her views on the Writers Guild strike, she hasn’t seemed to change her conservative views entirely.

A producer that worked on “The Office” named Michael Schur once claimed during a 2012 Vulture interview that Kaling was “very pro-gun” and was planning on voting for George W. Bush in the 2004 election.

Despite her claims of not being a Republican online when labeled as one in a 2013 Salon article, her history hasn’t sat right with a lot of left-leaning individuals.

Just because she might not vote Republican, doesn’t mean she isn’t conservative.

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3. Mindy Kaling once liked a J.K. Rowling tweet.

Twitter, as a social media platform and a collective of very polarizing groups, is privy to large amounts of conflation, exaggeration, and conclusion-jumping.

When your favorite celebrity likes the tweet of someone you hate whom you think has very harmful, bigoted, and transphobic views, you’re likely to be a little parasocially upset about it.

In October 2022, J.K. Rowling made a tweet in response to someone asking her how she sleeps at night where she wrote “I read my most recent royalty cheques and find the pain goes away pretty quickly.”

The person who originally tweeted at her was hoping she would take some accountability for the hateful things she’s said about trans people, but instead, she doubled down and showed her lack of emotion toward the subject.

Kaling favorited this tweet from Rowling, causing people to jump to labeling her as transphobic.

While this isn’t the most hard-hitting piece of evidence, there’s a joke in “Velma” that has been labeled as transphobic which also doesn’t look good for Kaling.

The scene sees characters appearing to poke fun at gender-neutral signifiers.

Kaling isn’t on the writing team but acts as the executive producer of the show meaning she can't be blamed for conceptualizing the joke but she likely had to give the OK for the joke to make it to air.

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4. Her brother, Vijay Chokal-Ingam, admitted he pretended to be Black to get into Medical School.

Vijay Chokal-Ingam was an undergraduate in college when he realized that he didn’t have the grades or test scores in order to get into medical school.

As a result, he set out to use an “affirmative action loophole” to get into graduate school.

“I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied as an African American. Not even my own frat brothers recognized me,” he wrote on his website promoting his book, “Almost Black.”

“I joined the Organization of Black Students and used my middle name, Jojo. Vijay, the Indian American frat boy, became Jojo, the African American med school applicant.”

Although, this has nothing to do with Kaling, and she even denounced the book, saying “This book will bring shame on our family!” many people still view it as a stain on her own name.

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5. Many people claim that she’s self-loathing of her Indian heritage.

There are a lot of mixed feelings about Kaling’s success as an Indian-American woman.

While many people appreciate the Indian representation she brings to “The Office,” the works that she participated in or created after that had people feeling like she had a “lack of ‘brown-ness.’”

As someone on Reddit put it, “the characters that she portrays are very cookie-cutter American and can be swapped out with any other actor (of any ethnicity) and they would still fit the role.”

“American-Born Confused Desi” (ABCD) Indians can’t relate to someone like Kaling, because none of her characters or portrayals show the culture clash of being an Indian in America.

Some people disagreed and claimed that Kaling’s form of comedy is much more relatable because they are much less “confused.”

“I love that her comedy is just comedy, not this stereotypical ‘stuck between two cultures’ that we’ve all seen a bazillion times before,” someone else wrote.

None of this is Kaling’s fault, as she is the product of her own environment and can only write about her own experiences, but it’s left a sour taste in the mouths of many regardless.

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6. Mindy Kaling’s writing seems centered around whiteness.

Part of the conversation surrounding Kaling’s self-loathing toward her own Indian heritage is how her characters’ love interests are very often white men who are “mean [as f--k].”

“The interracial part is fine enough lol but all the white male love interests are MEAN AF coupled with the [people of color] characters wanting nothing to do with their own people or cultures,” someone tweeted. “Too much of a pattern to ignore.”

When the tweet was reposted to Reddit, someone commented “She constantly uses the same tired tropes in her work. The self-hating Indian girl who is obsessed with the slightly abusive white guy. It’s giving colonizer raceplay at this point.”

Coupled in with the idea that Kaling never presents or represents her Indian background, many people believe that she’s seeking the validation of white people.

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7. There are Islamaphobic and antisemitic themes in Kaling’s writing.

In the show, “Never Have I Ever,” which was written by Kaling, there are moments where the main character, Devi, shares some of her antisemitic and Islamaphobic views through her actions.

In one scene, when a Jewish classmate, Ben, trips Devi up on Holocaust-related trivia, she mutters under her breath that she wishes the Nazis would kill him.

After getting in trouble for the comment, she apologizes to Ben and admits that she doesn’t truly wish for that.

Another one of Devi’s character traits that are problematic is her apparent disregard for her mother’s support of an Islamaphobic figure.

Referring to Prime Minister Narenda Modi, one viewer wrote “Modi is without doubt a Hindu Nationalist raging Islamophobe as shown by him forcing Muslims into detention camps, the anti-muslim citizenship amendment bill, the lockdown and oppression of Kashmir, and his role in the brutal slaughter of Muslims in the Guiurat riots etc.”

Despite the fact that Devi is a “witty character who comments on everything,” she let her mother’s support for Modi to slide.

Just because these things were written into a work of fiction, doesn’t necessarily mean that they reflect the views of Kaling herself, but when Kaling admitted to sharing some personal similarities to Devi’s character, many couldn’t turn a blind eye to the possibility.

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8. Mindy Kaling joked about sexually assaulting co-star Lee Pace.

During the filming of an episode for her TV show, “The Mindy Project,” based on her life, Kaling had improvised a kiss scene with her co-star, “Foundation” actor Lee Pace.

During an appearance on the Conan Show in 2016, talk show host Conan O’Brien asks Kaling if the power that comes along with having a show named after you has ever gotten to her head.

After admitting that she did let the temptations of abusing her power get to her head once, she provides the audience and viewers with the story of how she kissed Lee Pace without his consent while they were filming an intimate scene.

“I improvised just kissing him in the scene, which was not in the script,” she said. “He was just looming above me, and he asked me a question, I was not listening to him at all because who cares what he was saying, and I was just like ‘mhmm, mhmm,’” and kissed the air.

She says that he reacted with an uncomfortable and equally shocked face since what she did wasn’t in the script nor was it talked about beforehand — nor did he consent to it.

After it happened, she claims that she pretended it didn’t happen and went backstage to speak with her writers and producers who went “Hey man, what are you doing?! You could be sued for that!”

She claimed that she was very scared at the moment, and joked that she responded by saying “tell anyone, and you’re fired,” as the crowd joined in with laughter.

O'Brien joked that, since she “got away with it,” it would be happening a lot more now, to which she crossed her fingers, jokingly wishing that it would and adding that she’s “the Kissing Bandit.”

Commenters on the YouTube video pointed out her blatant boasting of a sexual assault she committed and even compared her joke about firing her co-workers to disgraced Hollywood film producer and sex offender, Harvey Weinstein.

The light-hearted manner with which this very serious situation was treated rubbed a lot of people the wrong way — especially since it seemed like this incident was largely swept under the rug.

While it might seem like the outpouring of hatred for Kaling because of her new animated show “Velma” is unjustified, there’s a lot of context behind why many people feel so strongly about it.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.

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