Was Mindy Lahiri the victim of sexual assault? Think again! Mindy Kaling addressed negative fan backlash following the Oct. 7 episode of her hit comedy The Mindy Project at the New Yorker Festival on Saturday, Oct. 11.
The Fox series’ creator, writer, and star, 35, was asked by a fan about last week’s plot, which involved Mindy’s love interest Danny (Chris Messina) attempting to engage in anal sex, leaving her shocked and a little freaked out. The fan admitted to being “very disappointed with the way it addressed consent,” before asking if Kaling was surprised by the negative reactions.
The Office alum then responded by saying she disagreed with the backlash, giving her take on the episode and the dynamic between Mindy and Danny.
“I think that Danny is a wonderful character, a wish-fulfillment character, and he loves Mindy, and they have a relationship that is very understanding with each other,” she said of her on-screen boyfriend. “He tried something because he was trying to see what he could get away with, but I don’t think that Mindy’s reaction to it was ‘I feel violated’; it was ‘Hey man, run that by me!’ It wasn’t something that made her feel unsafe or degraded. When you’re both consenting adults, people can try things, and you can be like, ‘I busted you on that, my friend.’ That is not an issue of sexual unsafety. I understand people felt that way, and I disagree is my feeling on that, but I am sorry people felt that way.”
Kaling also noted that it was important to bring up the topic of consent only in situations where it was an obvious violation.
“We have this card, this red card of like stirring fear in men about certain things,” she continued. “I was sad about that ‘cause I thought like, ’Is that a situation that we want to use that card for that?’ There was no sexual peril in there, and it was not a situation where she felt unsafe or was treated as objectified. She was startled in a common place, and that’s where comedy lives, in these uncomfortable places. I was sad about that.”
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