america's new girl next door is a tv powerhouse, actress/writer/producer and now a cover girl taking on a controversy. Her black and white photo on the front of elle magazine sparked a big debate, do... See More
america's new girl next door is a tv powerhouse, actress/writer/producer and now a cover girl taking on a controversy. Her black and white photo on the front of elle magazine sparked a big debate, do you know why? Here's abc's amy robach with our person of the week. Reporter: She's one of the few people in the history of television with the coveted distinction of being an actress, writer and creator of her own show. But this week, it's elle magazine that has the whole world talking. She landed on the cover of elle magazine along with other tv startlets. But mindy's is a close-up of her face. Her fans were in an uproar. Accusing elle of being racist. I thought that the photo was so beautiful. Reporter: This debate raged for days. Today, mindy has a message. They used my face to sell the magazine. It was a confident statement of the way I looked. Reporter: She talks openly about her looks and her weight. The only time she was skinny was the day she was born. I think there was little worry for me for a short period. That promptly disappeared. Reporter: She learned how to laugh from her parents, they even appeared in an episode of "the office." They love comedy, we spend long car drives listening to jerry seinfeld. So it's so sacred to me. Reporter: In high school and college, she dutifully sa l studied "saturday night live." ♪ Working 9 to 5 ♪ no, no. This is unbelievable. This interview is over. This interview is over. Reporter: She's famous for her tireless work ethic. She said her mom was her best friend. I could talk to her about everything. Nothing shocked her. Reporter: In 2011, her mom was diagnosed with stage 4 pan cretic cancer and died eight months later. That same day, she found, he mindy project" had finally been green lit. Mindy kaling is quietly breaking barriers for everyone a nod to the memory of her mom. She would be so proud and say sit up straight. So, we choose mindy kaling as our "person of the week." We'll stay in touch with all weekend at abcnews.Com.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.