I’ve realised there’s ONE THING that really bothers me about The Mindy Project.
the fact that her love interests are always white men.
this is the first US tv show to be based on/have a WoC as the lead, and they can’t even get at least one man of colour to be a love interest of hers?
i agree. and let me tell you, white women notice this too and it bothers me. she needs to have a mixture of successful MoC to date as well, and not just stereotypes like ball players and stuff.
i actually don’t agree w/ this as much—clearly mindy kaling is casting people that are her friends or her celebrity girl crushes (timothy olyphant). i don’t think she needs to make a point about dating men of color because there are so many people who come to mind on TV that haven’t dated a man of color—so many people on the office, liz lemon at least i don’t think, elliot on scrubs, new girl jess (at least where i am at in the season)—and it seems like for someone that will literally always have a poc relationship, being indian herself, it doesn’t seem as important to me.
one thing that i have loved so far about the mindy project, in terms of race, is not fitting offensive stereotypes (with maybe the exception of tamra. but honestly i think she’s there because she fits the ‘kelly kapoor a little too crazy’ archetype that betsy—who is erin-esque—needs). mindy kaling is being pretty colorblind in her selection and is more choosing her good friends to portray these roles. i just don’t think her immediate reaction is to put in a token character for the sake of putting in one.
Just tagged you in my response :)
I want more diversity on the show but it shouldn’t have to be in the Mindy love interest category. I agree it’s not fair to highlight this about Mindy when Liz Lemon, Jess Day, etc didn’t get this criticism.
In fact, that’s more likely to result to a “few episodes and then out” situation like Donald Glover on Girls. What Girls really needed was a substantial female of color as a friend, coworker, roommate, etc. as a way to broaden the 20 something female perspective. Not a random love interest that was barely ever explored where they superficially spoke about racial issues in one scene and never referred to it again.
With Mindy, unless it became a Casey type relationship (and it looks like they are going through more shorter relationships in season 2 for Mindy), they would not hang around long.
I want them to develop Tamra since she is a regular. I would love for them to introduce Ed Weeks’ Latin background into his storyline.
What about introducing a woman of color love interest for Danny? A substantial one that makes Mindy jealous? Not because she is a woman of color but because she and Danny get really serious?
How about bringing back the black doctor who refused to lie about Sam’s injury or the Asian doctors who host the party in Harry and Sally?
Adding a POC love interest for Jeremy or Morgan?
What about just introducing other female medical professionals at all?!
What about notable patients of color if they are going to focus more on medical storylines?
Would these count?
Why is Mindy expected to date the person of color?
Is it ok if the other characters do?
Is Mindy “betraying her kind” for not? I’m NOT implying the last question is what anyone here is suggesting but I have seen it elsewhere and it infuriates me. It’s not fair and it’s not cool. Then call out every character who only dates a certain race.
Why is that thought of as more substantial level of diversity?
I’d rather have a few of these other options I cited than one POC love interest. Hopefully we will get all of it.
I still think Mindy is better than Girls because aside from Glover, the NYC looks extremely white, down to extras.
Mindy Project is not like this - you see it in the subway scenes, patients, conferences, extras, etc. I will not claim these are substantial characters but from a visual standpoint, they do paint NYC as the diverse place it is, as they absolutely should. No brownie points here, I just wanted to highlight the difference with Girls.
So yes, I would love diversity on the show! Mindy, cast them however you want, just make them interesting and substantial, love interest or not. and you can add more than one! I have a whole list of actors I’d love to see on your show if you need suggestions.
I actually think the Asian doctors are coming back for “Sk8r Man” (the singles/couples party)!!!
While I disagree with the original title and premise of this post, I agree with pretty much all the eloquent responses above. I can’t help but ask, if Mindy dated only Indian men on the show, would she be criticized for not dating outside her own ethnicity or would she be held up as a heroine for having non-white love interests? From a strictly superficial perspective, literally every relationship she has had on the show has been interracial, so that’s good right? (mild sarcasm) Confused yet? My point is that Mindy can’t win this argument. While I would love to see a wide variety of diverse love interests for Mindy and her coworkers, calling her out for not dating “diversely enough” because she is a woman of color, while mostly ignoring the lack of relationship diversity in other shows that do not feature a WoC is a deeper problem. Superficially, the token boxes might not be checked in terms of her love interests, but overall, this show has a greater, deeper appreciation for and presentation of diversity than I have seen in most primetime network comedies. It is the little touches in each character’s interests, history, statements and actions (which I have detailed on another site) that show how much they have incorporated diversity as a normal and fulfilling part of their lives without shoehorning someone in and winking at the camera to say, “Look, here, I’m having an ETHNIC experience. Now you can all marvel at how very cosmopolitan I am.” I also think that one need not look much farther than the Mindy Project fandom to appreciate the fact that this niche show clearly has appeal across the board in terms of international, racial, ethnic, and religious lines. It’s not like this is a huge, popular hit like Friends, that by virtue of it’s sheer volume of fans, it crossed ethnic lines in terms of appeal. Mindy is still a relatively small show, but this fandom has significant interest outside the target demographic. I don’t think we’d be such a dedicated group if we felt that Mindy wasn’t representing so many of us in one way or another.
Excellent points! You’re right. I think there’s no right or wrong with the representation of race on this show because its already very diverse especially given the lead is a WoC.
Excited to see what the next season brings us!!!
Hey OP here. I was originally going to ignore you all but every time I get a note I stupidly look at it and each time I’ve gotten more and more pissed off. You’ve all completely missed my fucking point.
So let me break it down.
1. Liz Lemon - The Office, Elliot - Scrubs, Jess - New Girl = white women, on mostly white shows. So this point is completely irrelevant to my post.
2. There is nothing wrong with being attracted to white men (many, including myself could argue otherwise but let’s not get into that). I myself am attracted to white men. But I am also attracted to men of other races. Mindy has had 9-10 love interests, potential or otherwise, in Season 1 and they have ALL been WHITE men. There is a difference between attraction and racial preference.
3. This show is a one of a kind. I’m not referring to the fact that it’s bloody hilarious and had me so hooked from the pilot that i watched 8 episodes in one night, I’m referring to the fact that it’s the first US tv show to be based on a South Asian woman’s life/have her as the main character. And a dark skinned woman at that.
4. In some ways yes she is breaking stereotypes, like the stereotype that South Asian’s typically only go for other South Asians. But can you really say she’s going about it in the right way by only having white love interests?
5. In breaking some stereotypes she sadly plays up others. Tamra, a sassy black woman mostly seen singing and dancing. The closest Mindy got to having a Man of Colour as a love interest, the black basketball players in the VIP area of the club.
6. The cast is predominantly white. When I say predominately, minus Mindy, Tamra and (can he even be considered a reoccurring character??) Rishi, the rest of the cast are white. How on earth can that be considered an ethnically diverse cast?
Now on to my reasons for my original post.
It is in no way fair to burden Mindy SOLELY with the task of raising up People of Colour. I admit that. Especially as she’s achieved so much already as a Woman of Colour living in the Western World where white supremacy is still going strong. However I do believe she has a duty to do as much as she can regardless of whether she has power or not, though in her case she does.
One of you said that she chooses people she already has good relationships with to be on her show. If that’s true, that’s really really sad that she only has good relationships with white people.
Even if it is true however, that’s kind of lame. She has the opportunity to help out new talented actors/actresses who are People of Colour who most certainly don’t have the advantage of their white peers do, but this would mean she’s choosing not to.
I remember once when I was younger I was in HMV with my cousin who is a year older and we were looking at DVD’s and she goes, ‘How comes there’s a Black Cinema section?! What, are they not good enough to be with the other normal DVD’s?’ Thinking about my response now, I’m entirely embarrassed, and sad. I rolled my eyes and told her she was being stupid and it was probably just so they were easier to find.
This shows me how brainwashed I was without even realising it.
The fact that there are hundreds upon hundreds of tv shows and films with ALL white casts, that are just considered tv shows or films, is normal yeah? But when you have a tv show or film with an all Black cast it immediately becomes a ‘Black Film’ or a ‘Black tv show’ even if it shares the same setting as similar projects.
It reminds me of an article I read about white washing in the tv and film industry, where they mentioned Will Smith and how his love interests are often Latino women, because if he were to have a Black female love interest it would become less appealing for a white audience.
And do I need to even talk about the white washing of originally PoC characters in many films?
I’m not saying Mindy should only date men of her race. As I said before she’s had 9-10 potential or otherwise love interests that have all been white men. She could have had at least ONE or even two (oh god, imagine that TWO love interests played by Men of Colour out of the other 7-8 white love interests, how unfair!!!) that were played by a Man of Colour. A South Asian guy, an East Asian guy, a Black guy, a Hispanic guy, a Native American guy, a Middle Eastern guy.
I’m pretty fucking sure it would be easy to find hundreds/thousands of actors within each race. Hundreds who can’t or won’t get opportunities because they aren’t white, regardless of how hot and talented they are.
Same goes for the rest of the cast. Not JUST the love interests. The cast is so white, it’s not that much better than Girls to be honest. This is set in a big ass city. I refuse to believe that it’s not more ethnically diverse.
A more than 90% white cast in a show about a Woman of Colour created by said woman? If you can’t see a problem with that then you are racist.
I am a young multi-racial Woman of Colour and it makes me angry to see that this is the kind of compromise white people feel People of Colour should have to make, and saddens me greatly to think that People of Colour see no problem with this.
I believe EVERYONE (both white people and People of Colour) should do as much as they can to overcome shit like this, but if you have any kind of power and you don’t use it for the better, then it’s a waste, and by not doing everything you can, you’re passively supporting white supremacy and halting any kind of potential progress.
WOW. I’m not sure what you think diverse means, but The Mindy Project is not it.