It’s been nearly 15 years since The Office premiered, which means we’ve been blessed with knowing about Mindy Kaling for a long time. Mindy was just 24 when the show started, and she instantly became a fan favorite as Kelly Kapoor, but her time on camera wasn’t even close to the whole story. She was also a writer, director, and producer on the show, continually breaking down barriers on a staff that was mostly white, male, and older than her. But breaking down barriers usually comes with doubters, and in her new profile in Elle, Mindy Kaling opens up about a time when she had to fight for the respect the deserved.
Kaling said that in the early years of The Office, the Television Academy tried to cut her from the list of producers on The Office, saying that there were too many names on the list. This would have ruled Kaling ineligible to win the Emmy award for Outstanding Comedy Series, which is obviously a major career achievement. But unsurprisingly, Mindy was the only producer who got cut! In order to overturn this decision, Mindy says that “they made me, not any of the other producers, fill out a whole form and write an essay about all my contributions as a writer and a producer. I had to get letters from all the other male, white producers saying that I had contributed, when my actual record stood for itself.”
Basically, the Emmys decided that there were too many names on the list, so who did they target? The only woman, the only person of color, and the youngest person. Convenient. Luckily, Mindy’s appeal was enough to persuade the Television Academy to include her, but she shouldn’t have had to do any of this sh*t in the first place.
Of course, this isn’t how the Television Academy sees it, and their statement to the Los Angeles Times in response is so typical. “No one person was singled out. There was an increasing concern years ago regarding the number of performers and writers seeking producer credits. At the time the Producers Guild worked with the Television Academy to correctly vet producer eligibility.” This is a lot of jargon that means nothing, because they’re not actually saying that Mindy didn’t have to do extra paperwork. Just because everyone was vetted in some way doesn’t mean that everyone was treated equally.
And, like me, Mindy Kaling was unimpressed with the statement from the Television Academy. She fired off a series of tweets further explaining herself, pretty much telling the Emmys to take several seats:
Respectfully, the Academy’s statement doesn’t make any sense. I *was* singled out. There were other Office writer-performer-producers who were NOT cut from the list. Just me. The most junior person, and woman of color. Easiest to dismiss. Just sayin’. https://t.co/frT2pQUfLF
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 9, 2019
Yeah, the Television Academy can say whatever they want about the vetting process for producers, but it really means nothing if Mindy Kaling knows for a fact that other people in the same situation with The Office were treated differently. To claim that she wasn’t singled out is just false, even if you ignore the racist, sexist, and ageist connotations here. Which of course, you shouldn’t ignore, because the Television Academy probably was racist, sexist, and ageist.
I’ve never wanted to bring up that incident because The Office was one of the greatest creative experiences of my life, and who would want to have an adversarial relationship with the Academy, who has the ongoing power to enhance our careers with awards? (1)
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 9, 2019
Mindy followed up the first tweet with a series of three messages, in which she elaborates on the pain that this situation caused, and why she’s waited so long to speak publicly about it. I’m especially glad she brought up the complicated relationships performers have with these academies, because whether they care or not, at the end of the day, awards can have a huge impact on careers. Of course, Mindy would be worried that if she fought back against the Television Academy, she could be blackballed from awards consideration in the future. Awards aren’t everything, but this certainly creates a tough dilemma for performers deciding whether they should speak out in situations like this.
(2) But I worked so hard and it was humiliating. I had written so many episodes, put in so much time in the editing room, just to have the Academy discard it because they couldn’t fathom I was capable of doing it all. Thankfully I was rescued by my friends, the other producers.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 9, 2019
Awards are one thing, but Mindy Kaling is also bringing attention to a more important issue: the constant struggle for women, and especially women of color, to be taken seriously in their careers. In her final tweet, Mindy clarifies that this happened over a decade ago, so “maybe it wouldn’t happen now.”
(3) The point is, we shouldn’t have be bailed out because of the kindness our more powerful white male colleagues. Not mentioning it seemed like glossing over my story. This was like ten years ago. Maybe it wouldn’t happen now. But it happened to me.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 9, 2019
Yes, there’s been progress in the last decade, but honestly, this could definitely still happen in 2019. According to the Center For Study Of Women In Television & Film, in the 2018-2019 TV season, the percentage of producers that were women hit a record-high 31%. Think about that. It’s a RECORD HIGH, and it was still less than a third. Sad, but not surprising.
I’m glad Mindy Kaling is speaking out now, but it’s important to remember that she’s at a point in her career where she’s calling the shots on major projects. For every super famous person like her, there are so many more people of color who have similar stories, but don’t feel like they have the platform or the power or the job security to share it. We’re definitely making progress, but there’s still a long way to go.
Images: mindykaling (4) / Twitter
Hello all! Last night was “the biggest night in television” (no, not the Super Bowl), the 70th Annual Emmy Awards. It’s the night that Hollywood pats itself on the back for adapting books creating innovative and thought-provoking TV. So basically like the Dundies, but not at Chili’s and Steve Carell is only there sometimes. Lots of your favorite shows and people were nominated, even though I looked it up and unfortunately they couldn’t legally give all the awards to Law & Order: SVU. So here we are. Since I’m sure you all watched very attentively, I’ve broken this recap into sections instead of transcribing the entire blessed event. If you’d like a full transcript, I’m sure you can find it in Colin Jost’s sad, handwritten book entry from last night. Let’s do it.
The Hosts/The Opening
The show opens with Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson, and I’m immediately wondering if the hosting duties were passed off to them. Might be a better show! Instead of hosting, they naturally burst into a song called “We Solved It,” where they mock the fact that Hollywood is so proud of the limited strides they’ve made in diversity. They’re joined by people including Kristen Bell, Tituss Burgess, Sterling K. Brown, RuPaul, and Andy Samberg in the role of “sad straight white boy”.
I appreciate the song because it’s probably the most self-aware that Hollywood is going to get all night. Although, is the joke with Aidy Bryant pretending to harass Milo Ventimiglia a little awkward? Not saying I wouldn’t do it, but maybe not on TV? And considering the amount of actual sexual misconduct that goes on in Hollywood, perhaps it’s a little distasteful. Let’s ask Terry Crews!
The hosts finally come on stage and look visibly relieved that other people have killed 10 minutes for them. Only 2 hours and 50 minutes to go, guys! You’re doing amazing, sweeties! Hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost look very handsome in their tuxedos (those are tuxes, right? I know nothing about men’s suits so DON’T @ ME). I don’t know much about them in general since I’m usually already asleep out partying when SNL comes on. What I do know is that Scarlett Johansson has finally let Colin out of the friend zone, and that one time I saw my friend Jocelyn comment fire emojis on Michael Che’s Instagram, and she knows comedy.
The whole monologue is basically 70% Roseanne jokes and 30% calling out the diverse nominees. I have a feeling this diversity conversation is going to be the main theme of the show, at least until they start giving the awards to all the white people.
The best part of the monologue is clearly when the camera pans to Chrissy Teigen (Tie-gen), who visibly recoils. That will be good for about a week of memes.
The world is Chrissy, Chrissy is all of us.
I do appreciate that Michael and Colin finish up the monologue and jump right into announcing the awards. At this rate I can be asleep by 11pm, thank god.
So now let’s move on to who won the award show, literally and metaphorically.
The presenters/the audience. At first I was confused by the fact that the nominees were announced before the presenters even came out. I felt like I was taking crazy pills! But, as the show was wrapping up on time, I came to appreciate the fact that I didn’t have to listen to a C-list TV star stumble through Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s name for 15 seconds. But yes, it did feel a little like I was having a stroke every time they did it.
Alex Borstein. BRAS ARE THE ENEMY! And she knows it. When Alex went up to accept her award for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, she proudly marched on stage without that straitjacket for the chest we all call an undergarment. Now, I’m not saying I wanted to see her nipples, but if her nipples wanted to see us, we should have let them. Another round of applause for Mrs. Ungermeyer from The Lizzie McGuire Movie having a f*cking Emmy.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Y’all, Amy Sherman-Palladino CLEANED UP last night. She won for Writing, Directing, and Outstanding Comedy Series, and she did it all while dressed as Britney Murphey’s character in Drop Dead Gorgeous. Hooray! I always want my Gilmore Girls crew to go on to great things! Plus, she said she’s going to put her Emmys in her panic room and now I know we need to be friends because I’m in the market for one of those. (Talk to me about conspiracy theories, fellas, I’m very stable.) She also called her husband the “Sid to my Nancy,” and her “consigliere” which makes me wonder if she was trying to send a subliminal message that her husband might kill her? Again, come to me for all your conspiracy theory needs.
Angela Bassett. Did you guys see Angela Bassett last night? She looked like a flawless angel who lives in an Instagram filter. She is SIXTY!! And damn it, she looks better than us all. She must have learned some tricks when she played a VooDoo priestess on American Horror Story, because there is clearly witchcraft at work here. Angela, if you’re reading this, drop your skin care regimen. But maybe take one look at Rachel Brosnahan’s name before announcing the winners? Just sayin’.
Leslie Jones. Leslie got to be a part of the best presenting duo with RuPaul, she was visibly shocked and delighted by the surprise proposal, and was SO vocal and supportive when Regina King won. I would watch an entire TV show that’s just Leslie Jones reacting to things. Tbh, that would probably be more entertaining than the Emmys. Isn’t that basically what SNL is nowadays?
Cute Couples. Um can we all take a minute to appreciate that Matthew Rhys’ accent ups his hotness factor by like, a lot? I’m obsessed. Plus, I love that he and Keri Russell are a couple and that she told him if he proposed she’ll “punch me clean in the mouth.”
Sandra Oh-My-God. Sandra may not have won her category (boo), but she brought her adorable parents to the ceremony with her. Her mom is a STAR, and when we saw her whispering to Sandra during Claire Foy’s speech I imagine she was saying “you’re still my person,” or maybe telling her she’s a big disappointment. Either way, her presence was appreciated.
Ted Danson. It is CRIMINAL that Ted is the only one who got nominated from The Good Place. I’m basically just using this space as my plea to all of you to watch that amazing, hilarious, and creative show and that we all collectively find a way to give D’Arcy Carden an award soon. Anyway, Ted’s still a winner in my book. Take me to the Bad Place, Ted! I’ll go there willingly with you.
The Maya Rudolph/ Fred Armisen bit. What WAS that? I feel like there were a lot of useless time wasters in this show, and this was definitely one of them. If you’re going to use Maya Rudolph, please do better, and DON’T dress her up as an American Girl Doll from the 1600s. Homegirl looked like Annabelle. Maya is a treasure and she should be treated as such.
Betty White. I mean, we all love Betty White, but once again I ask: what WAS that? I don’t think they gave her an award, unless I missed something? This was another time waster. When they were storyboarding the Emmys, did some drunk producer just say “This is where we’ll bring out Betty White and let her riff off script,” and everyone was too tired to argue? It’s the only thing that makes sense.
Will Ferrell. Another time waster! “Will, we have 10 more minutes on this telecast, and only two awards to give out. STALL!”
The announcers. Why didn’t they announce when winners were coming up on stage how many times the person had been nominated and how many times they had won? I like to know who is a first-timer and who is a greedy motherf*cker. Is that too much to ask?
The proposal! Leave it to the guy that directed The Oscars to know what will make a good show. Glenn Weiss got up there and shot his shot. Men, take notes. And whoever directed last night’s Emmys needs to be sending Glenn an edible arrangement or something today. And the kind with chocolate covered strawberries, not the cheap stuff.
Hannah Gadsby. In the 30 seconds or so that Hannah had to present, she hilariously summed up how women are feeling right now. Her take was pitch perfect. Michael & Colin WISH they were this funny. Netflix is about to see an absurd increase in Nanette viewings starting today.
Guys, is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel really that good? I never watched it based on my mother’s poor review, but I’ve been noticing lately she only likes “good, clean fun,” so maybe I should be looking elsewhere for recommendations? Let me know what you all think if you watched!
All in all, the show was mercifully short and light on Justin Timberlake, which is really all I can ask for in an awards show. Thanks for reading!
Images: Giphy (5)
This year was the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards and if you think I’m not going to take this opportunity to LOL like a 13-year-old boy at the number 69 and talk shit about the red carpet looks, you probably stumbled upon this website by mistake. Everyone knows that actually watching the Emmys is kind of pointless, because we’re all just going to root for the one show we’ve actually watched (why isn’t there a Housewives category? So rude) and then be disappointed when some more serious, adult-y show wins instead. Anyway, let’s rip some outfits apart—and, I guess, give credit to the ones that weren’s heinous.
The only possible explanation for this dress is that Mandy wants people to make memes of her. Which like, I get, because normally she’s perfect and there’d be no reason to turn her into a meme. I’m sure there are going to be some diehard fashion betches who will try to defend this Carolina Herrera gown, but there’s nothing you could tell me that will see this dress as anything but a lampshade.
Samantha Bee actually looks pretty fantastic, but my brain accidentally made the connection that this dress looks like it’s straight out of Princess Fiona’s closet and now that’s all I can think about so… sorry, I guess.
You know that picture you’ve had saved on your Halloween Pinterest board since 2014 of that girl dressed like a piñata that you thought was totally doable and creative? But like, you never actually tried to make the costume because you’re too lazy to do anything besides throw on some cat ears and a bodycon dress? Well, this Christian Dior gown is that costume. Generally speaking, if I can hear a dress just by looking at a photo of it, it’s a no from me.
Sarah Hyland is totally that betch who runs to Starbucks the second Pumpkin Spice Lattes are released just for the Instagram. Like, we get it. Fall is awesome. No need to rock a dress that looks like it was made from the same material that every kindergarten teacher uses for their back to school bulletin boards. Her abs look dope though. PM me your workout.
I’m confused. I think this is the same dress my mom wore to my bat mitzvah? I think I see a gown that I could potentially be super into, but it’s underneath a fugly cape so I’m not totally sure.
Evan Rachel Wood
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pantsuit as much as the next girl. But I feel like Evan Rachel Wood’s Jeremy Scott ensemble was going for “Hillary Clinton at the third presidential debate” but ended up at “cater waiter”. Like yes, I would love a bacon-wrapped scallop, thank you, but that’s not the point.
Millie Bobby Brown
If there’s one person who hit the Emmys red carpet that can do no wrong, it’s Millie Bobby Brown. I know that she’s only 13, but she’s already basically a fashion icon. Like, when nobody else has their shit together, MBB rolls up in the cutest Calvin Klein dress of all time and puts the world to shame. She might not have won to break the record for youngest Emmy winner ever, but she’s prob the youngest HBIC I’ve ever seen.
If there are two things I feel the most “eh” about in this world, it’s green dresses and Shailene Woodley. Except, for some reason, I’m loving Shailene Woodley in this green dress. I’m not sure if I’m so into this look because I actually like it, or if it has something to do with homegirl literally showing up to the Primetime Emmys in a messy ponytail and being like “yeah I don’t even own a TV.” Giving zero fucks looks good on you, Woodley.
It’s nearly impossible to wear Balmain without looking like a Kardashian/Jenner wannabe, but Priyanka looks so amazing in this gown that I momentarily forgot that the Kardashians even exist. It’s almost like I feel as though I shouldn’t compliment anyone else’s look because obviously it’s not as perfect as Priyanka’s.
I’m still really salty that Jessica Lange isn’t on this season of American Horror Story, so I’m going to throw her on this list to give her a little face time. Jessica Lange is one of those people who makes you feel stupid for complaining about how bad your hangovers are at age 25, because she’s literally the same age as your grandmother and still slays in Gucci whenever she feels like it. But like, not sure what’s going on with that stray arm, though—she’s just like, dangling it out there in almost all of her pictures. Google it if you don’t believe me. Jessica, pls advise.