Let’s say right off that not only don’t I know Mindy Kaling, in fact I have never even seen her before in the real world.
That being said, I’m watching Never Have I Ever on Netflix – pretty entertaining show, by the way – but I’ve also noticed that I have seen just one darker-skinned person – and he was a background actor (make that two. One of the friends of Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet, who as far as I’m aware also isn’t part Japanese) also happens to be darker-skinned. Both are essentially background actors).
Virtually every other main actor, with the exception of Sendhil Ramamurthy, who isn’t that particularly dark-complected, truth be told – are light-skinned.
The thing is, Indian people – as in from the county of India – aren’t one skin tone, which makes the consistency of the skin color of the actors, Indian-American and otherwise – really odd and truth be told, a bit out of place.
And in a fairer world color-blind casting would be a awesome thing, though the problem is that is certainly not the one we live in today and anyone that says that they’re looking for the best actor for whatever yet always end up with a white or light-skinned person is lying not only to themselves.
And that’s not to say that Kaling was the casting director – she’s wasn’t – though as one of the creators of the show if she wanted to see something, it would likely be the case.
The show also tries to be representative in many ways yet seemingly falls into the same trap as Lin-Manuel Miranda and the movie of his play, In The Heights, which was criticized because it seemingly ignored Afro-Latino actors.
And these type of things wouldn’t be an issue if producers such as Kaling and Miranda cast based on the ability of the actor, not the color of their skin because it seems fairly apparent that that’s not what’s happening.