Mindy Kaling was recently mistaken for one of the most important female figures of our time, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
According to a New York Times profile on Mindy Kaling, the hilarious actress was accosted by an elderly drunk an after party for The New Yorker Festival.
“Congratulations on your Nobel Prize,” the man said.
He obviously mistook her for Malala Yousafzai, the brave young girl who survived being shot by the Taliban. Now Malala is an activist who fights for the rights of oppressed women.
The tipsy man reportedly marveled at how Kaling/Yousafzai survived all those gun shots, and Mindy had the perfect response to this racist case of mistaken identity.
“Did he really think I’m Malala?” she asked out of earshot of the old man. “And that if I were, I’d be at the Boom Boom Room? That’s the best thing that’s happened all night.”
This awkward incident could definitely be written into an upcoming episode of The Mindy Project. In case you haven’t noticed, Kaling’s character often cracks jokes about how she’s mistaken for other people (and sometimes objects). The list includes the following:
-a taxi driver thought she was Jaden Smith;
-a little boy at the Thanksgiving Day parade thought she was a Dora The Explorer balloon;
-someone once told her she looks like “that black lady from the old ‘Star Trek'”; and
-Tamra thought she was a little boy selling candy bars after she cut her hair.
Mindy Kaling had a Twitter response to the Malala Yousafzai mix-up that was also worthy of a line in The Mindy Project.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 26, 2014
Being mistaken for a young, beautiful Nobel Prize winner definitely isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.
Some celebrities don’t take cases of mistaken identity so lightly, however. Remember how Samuel L. Jackson reacted when a reporter got him confused with Laurence Fishburne?
According to People, Morgan Freeman told talk show host Jimmy Kimmel that a fan once mistook him for Samuel L. Jackson.
“The guy comes over and says, ‘I know you’re trying to be incognito, but I recognize you. And I said ‘Oh, really?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, Samuel L. Jackson.'”
Instead of getting upset about the incident, Freeman just laughed it off.
It’s possible that racism played a part in these cases of mistaken identity, but sometimes race has nothing to do with it. During an appearance on Conan, Courteney Cox revealed that she once mistook Jack Black for Zach Galifianakis. The only physical attribute the comic actors have in common is their body shapes.
What do you think of Mindy Kaling’s response to being mistaken for Malala Yousafzai?