Mindy Kaling, Bela Bajaria Among The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Powerful Women in Entertainment
- The two Indian Americans have led the industry and have navigated “a concerning economy, rampant consolidation and a manic marketplace,” the magazine says.
Netflix executive Bela Bajaria can identify with Devi Vishwakumar in “Never Have I Ever,” the coming-of-age comedy about an Indian American teen, which she helped board the streaming platform. Devi, played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, “really captures the hilarious and heartwarming intersection of cultures,” the head of Global TV at the streaming giant told The Hollywood Reporter.
The Indian American is among the magazine’s ‘Women in Entertainment Power 100’ the annual rundown of the most powerful women in the entertainment industry. The women on the list have led the entertainment industry and have navigated “a concerning economy, rampant consolidation and a manic marketplace,” the magazine says.
Joining Bajaria is “Never Have I Ever” co-creator Mindy Kaling, whose “shift from performer-writer to writer-performer has cemented her as one of the most sought-after voices in Hollywood,” THR says. From “The Mindy Project” to “Never Have I Ever” and “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” the writer, producer, author, director and actress has given audiences funny, relatable stories about characters rarely seen as television protagonists.
She told THR that her daily routine hack of the “50:10 ratio” changed her life. “50 minutes of writing, 10 minutes of internet.” When she’s on the script, she most identifies with the Mandalorian, she told THR. “I wear the same thing every day, I look after a toddler, and no one is allowed to see my face.”
Kaling is executive producing and voicing the title character in Warner Bros. Animation’s upcoming HBO Max adult animated comedy “Velma.” She is also co-writing the third installment in the “Legally Blonde” series with Dan Goor. Additionally, she has committed to re-team with Dan Goor to write and star alongside Priyanka Chopra in a comedy about an Indian American wedding under Universal.
Along with Kaling’s “Never Have I Ever,” Bajaria has delivered some of the streaming giant’s biggest hits this year, including “Inventing Anna,” “Stranger Things” (Season 4), and “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” She oversees “an annual content spend of $17 billion alongside film counterpart Scott Stuber, manages hundreds of executives in more than 20 territories,” the magazine added.
This year, Netflix was recognized with 105 Emmy nominations, including 14 for Squid Game. Bajaria told THR that she hopes that 2023 will be the year that Hollywood “finally recognizes local-language shows with the industry’s highest honors.”