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Mindy Kaling, Russell Peters, and Lily Singh criticised for perpetuating South Asian stereotypes: ‘Just because you are an Indian loser, does not mean Indians are losers’


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Though Mindy Kaling’s teen comedy-drama The Sex Lives of College Girls on HBO Max is a hit among the majority of the audience, some South Asian TikTok users do not seem very impressed with how certain things are portrayed in the series furthering harmful South Asian stereotypes.

A video clip from the HBO Max series, which was created and produced by Kaling, has gone viral on TikTok. In the clip, Bela, played by Amrit Kaur, talks to her parents about how she used to be an “Indian loser.”

TikTok user Jasmine (@totallyprincessjasmine), who posted the video last month which has clocked over 332,000 views and 60,000 likes so far, says, “Mindy Kaling. Just because you are an Indian loser, does not mean Indians are losers,” Jasmine says in their video. “At this point, you’re genuinely doing more harm than good.”

Sharing Jasmine’s video, TikTok user Aqil Dhanani (@aqildhanani) says that South Asian comedians are to blame for the promotion of harmful stereotypes in the U.S. Dhanani calls out Kaling and stand-up comedians Russell Peters and Lily Singh in particular:

“If you’re in America and you want to be racist against Black people, you can deep dive into the ancient tomes of racism and find a stereotype or a slur. Same with East Asians, same with Latinos. But if you want to make fun of South Asians, where do those insults usually come from? South Asian comedians,” Dhanani writes.

He goes on to add, “Mindy Kaling, Russell Peters, Lilly Singh, what do they talk about? Our parents talk funny and they beat us and we eat stinky food and we are stinky and there’s hair all over.”

Dhanani further shares that the popularity of comedians who promoted harmful South Asian stereotypes affected the way he was treated in high school. “Russell Peters popped off when I was in high school, and I had white people coming up to me in the hallway and quoting Russell Peters and laughing about it,” he says.

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