Mindy Kaling says she "misspoke" about abortion and sitcoms

The star told HuffPost Live that she might include an abortion story line on "The Mindy Project" in the future

Published September 15, 2014 8:00PM (EDT)

Mindy Kaling in "The Mindy Project"      (Fox)
Mindy Kaling in "The Mindy Project" (Fox)

After controversially asserting that "it would be demeaning" to tackle the issue of abortion in a half-hour sitcom earlier this month, Mindy Kaling has amended her stance. In an interview with HuffPost Live on Friday, Kaling said she "misspoke" when she told Flare Magazine that she wouldn't feature an abortion story line on her show.

"When I made that comment, I think that I misspoke," Kaling said. "It was a Flare interview where I said I thought it would demean the issue of abortion to talk about it on a sitcom. What I should have said was 'my sitcom.' Many incredible shows have dealt with it in a way that I really admire."

Kaling added that she would consider incorporating an abortion story line in the future, but that it isn't right for her show at the moment. "I should've said 'for now,'" she told HuffPost. "I don't want to lock myself into never talking about it. [But] it doesn't strike me -- and I don't think this is controversial -- as the funniest of areas, and I run a comedy show." Kaling went on:

Also, my show is not about gynecological issues that much. It's about a workplace -- the way 'The Office' wasn't really about paper. It's hard to say those things and not sound like I'm not 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.

Needless to say, it's true that abortion is a highly charged political issue. But it's also a routine medical procedure that one in three American women will undergo before the age of 45. As Kaling -- or any comedy writer -- surely knows, the mundane facts of life aren't always funny, especially when they're politicized. But that hasn't stopped "The Mindy Project," or sitcoms in general, from dealing with them. Kaling's show has conspicuously missed opportunities to comment on topics like religion, but it has also addressed other contentious issues related to women's health, such as sex education for high school students and access to contraception. As the show goes on, "The Mindy Project" is certainly savvy and smart enough to tackle abortion, too, in its own way -- and it's good to know that Kaling realizes that, even if she's not ready to approach the issue yet.

Watch Kaling's interview with HuffPost Live below:

By Jenny Kutner

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Abortion Comedy Feminism Huffington Post Huffpost Live Mindy Kaling Sitcoms The Mindy Project Video