Improv, Comedy, Women, Melbourne and everything in between.
At SXSW this weekend, an audience member asked The Mindy Project creator/star Mindy Kaling why there weren’t more women of colour on her show. “I’m a fucking Indian woman who has her own fucking network show,” said Kaling.
She goes on to discuss the double-standard she faces in the industry, whereby demonstrating diversity on television comedies is somehow her job and her job only.
“No one asks any of these other shows that I adore – and I won’t name them because they’re my friends – why no leads on their show are women or women of colour, but I’m the one who gets all of these things.
“It is a little insulting. I don’t run the country, I’m not a political figure, I’m someone writing a show and I want to use funny people. What should I be doing? It’s a little frustrating to me,” Kaling continued.
“People have a higher expectation for me. They say, ‘why aren’t you doing more?’ The answer is: I always want to be doing more, because people should always be doing as much as they possibly can. But my full-time job is not a casting director of ‘The Mindy Project,’ my job is producer-writer-star.”
Kaling also makes a point to not see herself as a victim, but to just get on with the job in front of her. And if there’s one piece of advice for female comics, it’s “don’t victimise yourself”. Work hard, earn your spot, and work hard again. Don’t wait for someone to pat you on the head, because no one is going to do it – your results should be reward enough.
Kaling goes on to say that more people should hire women in their writing rooms. “Everyone should hire women. I don’t want to be applauded for that, it should just be the way it is.” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBgKUTGP5Sc]
Next time there’s an argument about diversity on television, particularly in comedy, let’s shift our focus onto Chuck Lorre.