Despite her career success, there’s one personal story Mindy Kaling can never escape.

Mindy Kaling is a trailblazer.

She was one of the only females and the only person of colour in The Office (US) writer's room at just 24 years old and was responsible for some of the most outrageously hilarious lines from the hugely popular show. 

In 2012 her TV series The Mindy Project premiered to rave reviews and positioned her in the history books being the first woman of colour to create, write and star in a prime-time sitcom. The successful show ran for six seasons and launched her into a number of other creative projects including writing the film Late Night and co-writing a reboot of Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Watch: The Mindy Project Season 4 Trailer. Post continues below.

Video via Hulu.

Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak in The Office. Image: NBC.



In 2020 she created and wrote the series Never Have I Ever which premiered on Netflix. The show centred around the life of an Indian-American teenager navigating growing up, high school dating, and everything in between. Never Have I Ever struck a chord with audiences thanks to its refreshing portrayal of the high school experience as well as honest and real depictions of life as the child of immigrants.

Still invested in telling stories about complex, funny, nuanced females, in 2021 Kaling created and wrote The Sex Lives of College Girls, a hilarious show about four young women navigating their first college experience straight out of high school.

At the same time behind the scenes, Kaling founded her own production company — Kaling International. She has since reportedly inked a six-year US$8.5 million deal with Warner Brothers. And she shows no signs of slowing down her meteoric rise through Hollywood.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Mindy Kaling and Bela Bajaria. Image: Getty.

 And yet despite all of the trailblazing and incredible work she does in pushing for more visibility and representation in the entertainment industry (while also creating hilarious content), there's one story that keeps following her.


"Who is the father of her children?"

You would have seen this written in the comments section under any article written about her and in the comments section on social media posts.

It's a bugbear the public just can't seem to let up. 

In 2017 Kaling welcomed her first child, a daughter named Katherine "Kit" Swati Kaling on December 15. Then during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert she announced the arrival of her second child, a boy named Spencer Avu Kaling born on September 3.


As a single mother, she has never publically revealed the identity of her children's father - or whether they even have a father. 

It's important to note that for a lot of women who decide to have children on their own, they often prefer to refer to them as donors rather than using the word "father".

In a 2022 interview with Marie Claire, Kaling went further in explaining why she has kept the details of her family largely out of the spotlight.

"I want them to be old enough to talk to me about it and [tell me] how they want me to talk about it," she said. "I'm the only parent my kids have…I think I err on the side of super cautious so that there are less things that they can potentially be mad at me about down the line."


Despite this, it hasn't held off intense interest in who may be the donor to her two children. It is often speculated that the father or donor of her children is none other than her lifelong best friend and former partner, actor BJ Novak.

Kaling and Novak first met on the set of The Office where their characters Kelly and Ryan became an item. Their on-screen chemistry soon followed them off-screen and they began a romance —although Kaling has since said they were "never really dating" and "never really not dating." In 2017 their "tumultuous, romantic, toxic, boundary-less mess" of a relationship came to an end but the pair have remained best friends ever since.

Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak. Image: Getty.

They're often seen as each other's dates on the red carpet circuit, they're always hyping the other up in the media and Novak is godfather to both of Kaling's children. 

With such a close personal relationship in the spotlight it's easy to see why people would draw these conclusions about Kaling's children. But with all the rumours floating around, Kaling insists the whispers don't bother her.


"He's the godparent to both my kids — and they have such a great relationship — and so far [the rumours haven't] affected my happiness at all, it hasn't affected my kids or BJ," she told Marie Claire.

But we cannot help but think that these rumours must start grinding away at you.

Listen to The Spill hosts discuss where the tabloid's obsession with Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak began. 

For women who decide to have children alone it is an enormous decision and one that is not made lightly. Before you even begin contemplating the financial cost and the intense physical experience of going through IVF, you have to make sure you can truly see a future where you'll be ok raising children — and all the responsibility that comes with that journey — on your own. To then be faced with constant questions about "who is the father?" while you're bravely on this path, must surely be an unwanted and hurtful side effect of becoming a single mother.

The interest around Kaling's children has been sparked again this week after a new interview with The Office alum was released with WSJ. Magazine

"It's really rewarding, being a mom and spending time with these two people who look like me. "I love them, and they're so funny. In terms of my career, I'm a single mom, I'm the breadwinner in the house," she said.


"So there's a lot of panic that comes with that, the buck stops with me, I have to earn money for them. Having kids is everything — wanting to be a good role model and wanting to produce content that doesn't embarrass them and makes them proud is another layer to my life and a complication that I welcome."

The reality is regardless of Kaling's financial privilege the mental load of having to make all of the decision's for her children all boils down to her. 

She should feel proud and strong about forging a path forward for her and her family. Dodging questions about whether or not Novak is the "father" of her children will surely start to grate on her and every other single mother who sees this commentary.

Look, don't get me wrong, I've long held a candle for an eventual romantic reunion between Kaling and Novak - trust me, I've seen the Vanity Fair pictures of them. I want it to be true as much as the next person. 

But until they say so we've just got to let it lie. Instead of focusing on the same tired story let's champion her other, far greater achievements, that go way beyond who she is dating.

Mindy Kaling is a trailblazer, an important figure fighting for representation in the entertainment industry and she's an incredible mother. 

For now that's all we need to talk about.

Feature Image: Getty.