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The controversy over Mindy Kaling's Elle magazine cover

Posted by Kristi Palma  January 8, 2014 08:36 AM

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Boston's Mindy Kaling graces one of four February covers of Elle magazine. But is the photo offensive? Some think so.

For the magazine's annual "Women in TV" issue, it features four different covers with four of television's top actresses -- Kaling from "The Mindy Project," Amy Poehler from "Parks and Recreation," Allison Williams from "Girls," and Zooey Deschanel from "New Girl."

Some are slamming the Kaling cover, calling it "racist" and "fat-ist" because the curvy Indian actress is shown in black and white and only from the chest up while her white fellow funny ladies show off their bodies in full color.

Jezebel tweeted this pic to show the comparison.

What was Kaling's response? She tweeted this:

Elle released this statement:

Mindy looks sexy, beautiful and chic. We think it is a striking and sophisticated cover and are thrilled to celebrate her in our Women in TV Issue.

Kaling obviously has no problem with it. And neither did actress Melissa McCarthy, who you may remember was featured on the November issue of Elle wrapped in a coat. Some chastised the magazine in what became known as "Jacketgate" for covering up her plus-sized frame. The magazine was slammed for "fat-shaming."

McCarthy's response to E! News was this:

What I found so bizarre is I picked the coat. I grabbed the coat. I covered up. I had a great black dress on but I thought, it comes out in November.

Are people just being too sensitive? Or is the magazine really making these cover choices based on more than artistic creativity?

Learn more about the Kaling controversy in this video.

Mobile users unable to view the video, click here.

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About Pop Radar's entertainment staff brings you the latest celebrity news and pop culture updates, along with discussions on the day's hot topics. And you're invited to weigh in. Let's dish.


Katie McLeod is's features editor.

Kristi Palma is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at

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