Should Dr. Sanjay Gupta Feel Mocked or Flattered by His Cameo in Mindy Kaling’s ‘Never Have I Ever’?
- The network’s chief medical correspondent is referred to as “sexy” in an episode in the third season of the Netflix series.
CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s reference in the third season of Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever” came from a place of love, co-creator Mindy Kaling has said. In an Instagram post on Aug. 18, she wrote: “Dear @drsanjaygupta, Let us be clear: we are all obsessed with you. You’re the star of the golu, baby! With love, your @neverhaveiever fam. PS. We hope your daughters like the show!”
Kaling’s clarification came after Gupta expressed confusion about his goofy reference in the episode titled “…made someone jealous.” Gupta’s mention is made during a ritual observed during Navratri. Protagonist Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), compliments a glowing display of her grandmother (Ranjita Chakravarty), which includes a “DIY Sanjay Gupta” figurine. After discussion, it is decided that the figurine, which grandma describes with “hubba hubba,” should be placed in the center of the display to make it look “too sexy.”The episode was written by Kaling’s longtime collaborator Akshara Sekar.
The neurosurgeon’s confession came on CNN on Aug. 17, when “New Day” co-anchor Brianna Keilar told him that she was pleased to see him referenced on the Netflix shows. “The standard for heartthrobs on this show is high, Sanjay, and you’ve hit it,” she said.
Gupta replied: “At this stage of life — I have three teenage girls — I’m not sure when I’m being mocked or I’m being flattered, but I guess that just comes with the territory.” However, he didn’t miss the opportunity to praise Kaling’s show for its far-reaching impact. “I will say that watching that clip as an Indian American — and seeing the mother with the deities set up — I never imagined in my life that I would see it represented that way in a Netflix show and Brianna Keilar is watching this show. It’s amazing for me just to see that. But, mocked or flattered? I don’t know. I’m not sure which.”
Kaling’s Instagram post was flooded with comments from several fans and the cast of the series. Poorna Jagannathan, who plays Devi’s mom, responded: “Haaaaa!!!! We stunt hard with @drsanjaygupta.”
Darren Barnet, who plays Paxton Hall-Yoshida, one of Devi’s love interests, also responded. “More competition,” he wondered, as did co-star Jaren Lewison, who plays Ben Gross, another of Devi’s love interests.