Mindy Kaling Tells Us Why Representation Is Revolutionary In ‘A Wrinkle in Time’
Andre Grant attended Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time press junket where Mindy Kaling expressed why diversity and representation are hugely important.
A Wrinkle In Time is made for the kid in you. Director Ava DuVernay makes sure you know that upfront. It’s children who are lighting a path through the darkness that has been 2018. And it is children who need A Wrinkle In Time the most. Not only because of its gorgeous visuals and on-point message, but because of how it places women and girls of color in a sci-fi universe that largely ignores them.
Representation in science fiction has, in the past, been limited to white participants. Imagining altogether separate futures or alternate pasts has been, traditionally, a realm white creators have largely dominated. Mindy Kaling — who plays Mrs. Who in A Wrinkle In Time — hopped right to that point when asked what childhood fantasy the panel had managed to play out in adulthood. “I loved science-fiction and fantasy growing up,” Kaling said. “But it was largely a genre that did not love me back. I never saw any representation as a dark-skinned Indian woman [or] girl in anything that I saw.”
Which is partly why A Wrinkle In Time is so timely and so important: it gives children the chance to see themselves on screen in a way they did not have access to before. Kaling continued with, “And it’s a really peculiar thing when you grow up loving something that doesn’t love you back,” she said. “It’s such a pure love because you’re not getting anything from it. And to be part of this movie… And to be part of this and on a green screen stage in harnesses because you’re doing a science fiction fantasy movie, it’s so fun because I finally feel welcomed with open arms in something that has ignored me completely.”
We don’t think people of color will be finding themselves ignored anymore on the big screen. The runaway success of Black Panther is, we hope, dismantling certain preconceived notions about the viability of a film with an all-black cast in the U.S. and overseas. In just 10 days, Black Panther has amassed $400m in the United States and $700m if you count the international market. It’s trajectory isn’t slowing much, either. The picture’s 46% drop in the second weekend is one of the smallest in the MCU. With other Disney properties like Star Wars featuring a person of color, it seems that audiences have spoken.
As for A Wrinkle In Time, a new chapter in the science fiction market should awaken upon its release.
A Wrinkle in Time, which stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and introduces Storm Reid in the lead role, hits theaters everywhere on March 9.