Mindy Kaling 'Misspoke' About Abortion Being Too Serious for Sitcoms

Illustration for article titled Mindy Kaling Misspoke About Abortion Being Too Serious for Sitcoms

Mindy Kaling, who said earlier this month that it would be "demeaning" to address abortion in a half-hour sitcom, recently clarified her comment. In an interview with Huffington Post Live, she said that she "misspoke."


"When I made the comment, I think that I misspoke… I said that I thought it would demean the issue of abortion to talk about it on sitcom," she said. "What I should've said was my sitcom… Many incredible shows have dealt with in it in a way that I really admire. Roseanne is one of them." She went on, "I should've said for now. I don't know that that would be the case in the show, and I don't want to lock myself into never talking about it."


As for the thought process behind the comment, she explained, "[Abortion] doesn't strike me — and I don't think this is controversial — as the funniest of areas, and I run a comedy show. And also, my show is not about gynecological issues that much. It's about a workplace... It's hard to say those things and not sound like I'm skirting the issue, but, at the same time, our show from the get-go hasn't made its centerpiece to focus on political issues. Instead, the fact of the way that I look and the decisions I make, the character, that has sort of been our more subtle mouthpiece for those things."

All of this is true; even though one in three women get an abortion in their lifetime, the discourse around the procedure is insanely politicized — a few days ago, Merrit Tierce argued in a New York Times op-ed that our tendency as a culture is to recirculate "only the gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, terrifying abortion stories," which helps maintain the idea that "abortion isn't normal." Not every abortion story comes with a grand justification, she points out: "It's O.K. if it's boring or not traumatic or if you don't even know what it was."

It may seem pretty obvious that such a common medical procedure isn't too serious a subject for a sitcom — but I wonder if a representation of abortion as a normal part of life, not the end of the world, would be considered "too controversial" for network TV right now. Especially considering the fact that NBC wouldn't air Obvious Child ads. Maybe I'm just wary because I'm so used to hearing terrible news about abortion rights in our country; hopefully that all changes soon. [Just Jared]


Jessica Chastain, queen, spoke about victim-blaming at a press conference for Miss Julie, her new film (in it, her character has a sexual encounter that "blurs the lines between consent and assault," and afterwards, her assailant suggests that she asked for it). Chastain said that sentiments like that haven't gone away in our culture: "Look at the photos that just happened... I was at a junket, and one of the journalists asked me what advice I would give to the actresses who had their photos leaked. I would have no advice for them, because they were victimized. Even the question's kind of offensive." UH-HUH. [ONTD]


Charli XCX, also queen, spoke about sexism in the music industry in an interview. She was asked about a recent incident in which a skeezy radio host asked her if she was fingering herself on air ( >:( ) and responded gloriously: "I would definitely say I'm a feminist 100%. To be honest it blows my mind and it really annoys me the way some people treat women as objects and as if we're stupid... I don't know why [it still goes on in 2014] because I personally feel like when it comes to music now women are sort of running pop music from both behind the scenes and as artists." YEP. [ONTD]

  • VERY IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THIS FAKE STORY ABOUT HOW JOHN MAYER WANTS TO WOO JENNIFER LAWRENCE: "John once flirted with Jennifer at Medieval Times restaurant in L.A. on June 16, 2012!" This is the single most important event of our lifetime. [Hollywood Life]
  • Pharrell invited the leader of the Swedish feminist party onstage during a performance in Stockholm. They danced hand-in-hand to "Happy" together. [Billboard]
  • Demi Lovato says that a fan farted on her. [Gossip Cop]
  • Selena Gomez got bangs! Breaking celebrity hair news! What do you think the bangs have to say about Justin Bieber!!!! [MTV]
  • Kanye West changed his hair, too! What does his hair say about Justin Bieber!!!! [MTV]
  • Here are some more pictures of Paris Hilton and the animate ball of fluff she purchased for $13,000. [PopSugar]
  • Nick Jonas is a model now ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ [Page Six]

Image via AP.

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I really can't blame Mindy for not wanting to have an abortion storyline. I can't imagine Fox ever letting it see the light of day.