Dr. Sanjay Gupta is still getting accustomed to his heartthrob status.
Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, looked endearingly flummoxed Thursday when he was asked about a recent episode of Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever,” in which he was name-dropped.
The season three episode features a scene in which Devi (played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) and her grandmother Nirmala (Ranjita Chakravarty) are preparing for the Hindu festival Navaratri.
Together, the pair discuss a “DIY Sanjay Gupta” that’s included in Nirmala’s Golu, a traditional display of dolls and figurines to mark the festivities.
“Hubba hubba,” Nirmala remarks of Gupta at one point. Later, she suggests her Gupta figurine be moved from the center of the Golu to prevent it from being “too sexy.”
When asked about the scene this week on CNN, Gupta quipped that he didn’t know whether to feel “mocked or flattered” by Nirmala’s commentary.
“At this stage of life, I have three teenage girls, so I’m not sure when I’m being mocked or when I’m being flattered,” he said. “I guess that just goes with the territory.”
Still, he praised “Never Have I Ever” for putting South Asian traditions front and center on mainstream television.
“Just 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,” he explained. “It’s amazing for me just to see that.”
Later on Thursday, series creator Mindy Kaling attempted to clarify the show’s intentions with its winking tribute to Gupta.
“Let us be clear: we are all obsessed with you,” she wrote on Instagram. “You’re the star of the golu, baby!”
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