Why Does Everyone Suddenly Hate Mindy Kaling?
Mindy Kaling has become quite the polarizing figure as of late.
The Emmy-nominated star, writer and producer of The Office has received a flurry of backlash online lately, and it seems her bungled adaptation of the Scooby-Doo gang for HBO Max cartoon Velma is just the tip of the controversy iceberg.
Premiered Jan. 12, Velma is a relatively mean-spirited re-imagining of the Scooby Gang that largely strays from the original characterizations and themes of friendship so beloved by longtime fans.
The show currently holds a 6 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and there are plenty of reasons why viewers aren't feeling Kaling's animated series' approach.
For one, according to a viral TikTok video from content creator Nicole Brennan, Velma takes place in high school, but the characters are often put "in adult situations."
"These are high schoolers, it's like, ew, no," Nicole explains in the TikTok, showing a screenshot of character Daphne appearing nearly nude in the cartoon.
Plus, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Fred just don't feel anything like their original characters.
"This is just Mindy Kaling playing the same character she always plays. There is not a crumb left of [the original characters' distinct personalities] in Velma. There are just stereotypes on top of stereotypes," Nicole continues.
Plus, Velma has also come under fire for featuring a controversial #MeToo joke.
In the second episode of Season 1, Velma says, "I spit the truth without a filter, like every comedian before #MeToo."
The Mary Sue called the problematic line "shock value" with "no self-awareness."
In another TikTok video, clips from Velma are used to show "how to spot a Mindy Kaling show" due to the South Asian stereotypes many fans say have become a pattern in Kaling's shows, which include The Mindy Project, Never Have I Ever and The Sex Lives of College Girls.
In fact, many have accused Kaling of projecting her "self-loathing" onto other Indian women via her writing and character portrayals over the years.
Others have accused Kaling of alleged Islamophobia and racism for jokes made on her shows, such as one scene from The Mindy Project Season 1 where her character requests "more white patients."
With the recent release of Season 2 of The Sex Lives of College Girls, many fans have also noticed that Kaling's shows tend to struggle to portray diversity.
According to Vice, for example, Kaling's character on The Mindy Project had a track record for only dating white men, while in real life the show's writers' room also reportedly lacked diversity.
By 2022, it seemed like fans believed not much had changed as many pointed out the lack of representation in the predominantly white love interests featured on The Sex Lives of College Girls.
Now, with all the backlash from Velma, it seems Kaling's reputation has taken a larger hit as many fans have become tired of the "problematic" elements of her work.