Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, who stars as Devi in Netflix's hit sitcom Never Have I Ever, is simply asking for one thing. She wants people to pronounce her name correctly. Ramakrishnan has been busy promoting Never Have I Ever's second season and has already heard several people mispronounce her name.
"Names are so important, and I find that it's a big part of your identity — it personally is for me. I love my name so, so much," Ramakrishnan, 19, said in a voice memo she shared on Twitter on July 22. "And constantly I get people saying, 'Oh, you don't even know how to say your own name right.' It's like, 'No, no, no, I do. I do know how to say my own name right.'"
had to take this voice memo 18490174 times because there’s a lot to say💗✨ pic.twitter.com/sZ867oMJO4— Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (@ramakrishnannn) July 22, 2021
She went on to note that the only person who really knows how to pronounce their name correctly is the person themselves. "I'm sorry, but I get to call the shots here. There is one answer and that answer is my own. There's no discussion for that," she said. Ramakrishnan said she used to let people mispronounce her name as "my-tree" because she thought she would be inconveniencing someone if she corrected them. Now, she will correct them.
"I'm asking for basic respect when I want people to say my name right, as many of us do, right? Like, we just want our names to be right," she said. Ramakrishnan said it "really, really sucks" to accept mispronunciations of names. "And I hope you guys don't have to go through that too often," she told her fans. Now that she is a "great, wise, 19-year-old," she makes sure to ask people to pronounce her name correctly. "I put a lot of active effort whenever it's like an interview, or, you know, just meeting people in general, like new people," she said. "I make sure that they say my name right."
Towards the end of the clip, Ramakrishnan finally shared how people are supposed to pronounce her name. "Yeah, I like to pronounce my name...My-tray-yee Ra-ma-krish-nin," she said. She also explained how her name would sound in a Tamil accent, notes BuzzFeed. However, she told fans she was "not expecting people to switch up their accents on me, just asking for basic respect."
In a follow-up tweet, Ramakrishnan noted that people often thought she would change her name "to make it easier" before she made Never Have I Ever. "Now 'my tree' is fun and all but let's make sure we remember that names have power. pronounce peoples names the way they want it to be pronounced and put in the effort," she wrote in another tweet. "So hey! my name is Maitreyi. /my-tray-yee/."
Never Have I Ever was created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. Ramakrishnan plays Devi Vishwakumar, a Los Angeles high school student who tries to navigate life as a student after her father's death and losing the use of her legs. Poorna Jagannathan plays her mother, while Richa Moorjani stars as her cousin. Since John McEnroe was her father's idol, the tennis player narrates most of the show. Andy Samberg and Gigi Hadid have also narrated episodes for other characters.