Mindy Kaling & J.J. Totah Talk Groundbreaking “Champions”
So, while Kaling had to pave her own path, she made sure the road was open for underrepresented voices in front of and behind the camera in her future work.
Her subsequent show, Champions, which she served as an executive producer on, featured a gay lead, for example. In an exclusive interview with E! News, Kaling and the show’s star Josie Totah, who has described how the show “is not about [the character’s] struggles with being gay.”
“It’s something that is foregone conclusion. Like, we’re sick of watching the brutalization and those stories needed to be told but we’re kind of past it…[the character] has a whole other set of issues that are entertaining and great so the show’s a lot more about classism and sexism and agism and all this other stuff,” Kaling explained.
Added Totah, “Which is why it’s even more groundbreaking. Because the shows we have seen with gay characters it’s about them being gay or having to deal with it.”
While Champions was cancelled before the first season ended, Kaling brought that same mentality of inclusion into her additional projects, like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Late Night.