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Surprisingly, white men in power aren’t the villains in Mindy Kaling’s ‘Late Night’

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Mindy Kaling’s new comedy Late Night dives into the writers’ room of a fictional late-night talk show to spotlight a very real problem of gender and racial disparity.

Kaling plays Molly, a newly hired staff writer on her favorite show Late Night with Katherine Newbury. As the only woman and person of color in the room, Molly is shut out of the boys’ club and is subjected to microaggressions and disparaging remarks that she’s just a diversity hire.

Sadly enough, there is indeed a lot of truth in comedy.

A recent study from the Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity found that 64% of diverse writers have experienced bias, discrimination, and/or harassment by members of the writing staff; 58% experienced pushback when pitching characters or storylines that went against their “stereotype”; and 42% claim they entered the industry as a diversity hire.

As dismal as the statistics remain for women and people of color in Hollywood, Late Night would have been justified in fully vilifying the patriarchy. To some degree, it would’ve been cathartic for the minorities in the audience to see the white men with their stranglehold on power get some form of comeuppance.

But that’s exactly what director Nisha Ganatra didn’t want to do. To her, the problem of why there aren’t enough women working behind........

© Fast Company