Guy Aoki, the head and co-founder of MANAA, wrote in his latest column for Rafu Shimpo that its Kaling’s responsibility to give back. Kaling, he reasoned, got accepted into NBC’s Diverse Staff Writer’s Initiative– a program he says was successfully advocated for by the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC).
It was because of that program that Kaling was given a position as a writer on The Office.
That led to a role on the show and then a development deal which led to Fox picking up The Mindy Project.
“Does Kaling understand the concept of ‘giving back?’ Or having ‘gotten hers’ is she now content to perpetuate the same unofficial policies of exclusion of many white showrunners? Instead of being part of the solution, she’s part of the problem. She’s creating the impression that by surrounding her character with mostly white people and dating only white men that Lahiri’s become more accepted by the white population. It only shows how internalized racism has affected Kaling’s own sense of self-worth to the point where she seems to be embarrassed by fellow Asian Americans.”
I agree. Anyone who benefits from programs made possible because your community advocated for it should give back to the community. As they say, pass it forward.
Kaling acknowledged her ethnicity and accepted the high bar the community had set for her.
Does this mean we’ll start seeing more people of color on her show and maybe see her date a few Asian American guys? The door is open. The new season awaits. Lets hope Kaling does the right thing.