Mindy Kaling’s Instagram post about her Friday night out quickly turned into a heated discussion between the actress and her fans as a conversation about rehabilitation for those accused of sexual misconduct was sparked.
It all started when Kaling posted a photo of a ticket to Aziz Ansari’s show in Los Angeles, which she attended. Some were quick to respond with “disappointed” comments, which the actress addressed.
“As a survivor, this is disheartening. I am unfollowing sadly because I believed you to be a champion of women,” @nicocathcart wrote underneath the photo. @rachelpiker chastised Kaling, saying that “you can’t separate the art from the artist.” Kaling responded to both users by saying that she was sorry to hear they would be unfollowing, but she did not apologize for supporting Ansari at his show.
“He speaks about what happened in a humble, respectful, and reflective way, I was very impressed and proud to have him as a friend,” Kaling wrote. “Obviously we can disagree but I think people can mature and change.”
“I am a champion of women. I am also a champion of my friend and do not believe they are mutually exclusive,” Kaling added in another response. “I don’t know your experience, but I respect however you react — sorry to see you go.”
Kaling also shut down comments that compared Ansari to R. Kelly (“[that is] offensive and degrading to the victims of R. Kelly,” she wrote) said that she was not “rehabbing” Ansari by going to his show. Instead, Kaling said that she thinks “he did a fine job doing it himself.”
“There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way,” Ansari told the crowd at a pop-up comedy show in New York City. "After a year, how I feel about it is, I hope it was a step forward. It made me think about a lot, and I hope I’ve become a better person.”
Statements like this from Ansari is why others in Kaling’s comments commended her for publicly standing by her friend despite knowing the backlash she would possibly receive.
“I wonder if we can understand that people fuck up, realize they have fucked up and seek to change. Redemption is power. Redemption is needed, if we are going to heal this collective pain and anger,” @rachelcoleman287 wrote.