Reese Witherspoon Just Decided To Confront Her Whiteness – It’s As Bad As It Sounds

Reese Witherspoon Just Decided To Confront Her Whiteness – It’s As Bad As It Sounds

Reese Witherspoon, whose first film role as a teenager earned her high praise from Robert Ebert, is now confronting the fact that she only ever gets cast because she’s white. At least, she’s “confronting” her whiteness after being convinced by her co-star Mindy Kaling that the reason Reese gets more film roles than Mindy is due to skin color.

The Oscar-winning Witherspoon gave an interview to Glamour where she explains that Mindy Kaling, a Dartmouth-educated child of an architect and a doctor, claims to have always had to create her own roles. This is compared to Witherspoon, who got started in 1991 by attending an open casting call for a bit part in Man in the Moon who impressed the movie makers enough to earn a staring role. Mindy is best known as Kelly Kapoor from the American series of The Office, where she started as one of the writing staff and created her own role.

Both are accomplished women, but Mindy’s assertion that her Indian descent is what keeps her from the same success as Reese is ridiculous. And the fact that she’s trying to guilt Reese for being more famous and successful due to her skin color sounds more like jealousy than professional advice. Sorry Mindy, but Americans who identify as white make up over 75% of the population and Americans of Indian descent make up under 1% of the population. It’s just a fact that that’s going to mean more parts will be written for thin, pretty white women than Indian women. It’s really neat that you are able to write your own parts to get your work out there and that’s worthy of praise, but you don’t have to go putting poison into Reese’s ear that she is only successful because of “white privilege.”

Reese said:

“I can’t imagine how hard it is to write your own parts and simultaneously have to change people’s perceptions of what a woman of color is in today’s society.”

Mindy started in show business as an intern on Late Night with Conan O’Brien where she said she was a terrible intern. She was “less of a ‘make copies’ intern and more of a ‘stalk Conan’ intern.”

Mindy and Reese have been working together on a sci-fi fantasy movie, A Wrinkle in Time, along with Oprah, Zach Galifianakis and Chris Pine, to be released next spring, based on the 1963 novel.

This seems to fly in the face of Mindy’s assertion that she only ever played roles that she created for herself. She also had roles in 2005’s The Forty Year-Old Virgin and did voices for Wreck-It Ralph and Inside Out. She didn’t have to create those roles, either.

Speaking of privilege and race, we reported back in 2015 on Mindy’s brother Vijay Chokal-Ingram who applied to a university posing as a black man in order to gain admittance.

Margaret M.

Internet Specialist at Warfare Media.

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