Mindy Kaling shuts down criticism of Velma being South Asian in upcoming Scooby-Doo series
26 July 2021, 11:42
Velma will air on HBO Max.
Mindy Kaling has addressed the backlash surrounding her reimagining Scooby-Doo's Velma Dinkley as South Asian in an upcoming spin-off series.
In February, it was revealed that Velma would be getting her own series on HBO Max. Not much is known about the highly-anticipated series, which is supposed to be a more "adult" animation exploring Velma's origin story. Velma will run for 10 episodes.
At the time it was announced that Mindy would be voicing Velma as well as producing the series, and fans were thrilled that Velma would finally be getting the recognition she deserves. However, it has since been announced that like Mindy, Velma will be South Asian, despite having been portrayed as white since her creation in 1969.
Mindy has since received backlash about her reimagined version of Velma with people insisting there was no need to change Velma's race. On Thursday (July 22), she addressed the criticism during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers. "When it was announced that I was going to do the voice of Velma, people were very supportive and happy on Twitter and so I felt great," she explained. "These are really intense fans, you know – cartoon, comic book fans, those are huge fans. And especially [for] a legacy show like this."
Mindy added: "Then it was announced about a month ago that the Velma character would be reimagined as South Asian. And people were not happy. There was a lot of, like, 'So not Velma!' Those kind of tweets. 'Not the classic Velma that I'm always thinking about!'
"First of all, I didn't know that she elicited such strong reactions in either direction. She's such a great character. She's so smart. And I just couldn't understand how people couldn't imagine a really smart, nerdy girl with terrible eyesight, and who loved to solve mysteries, could be Indian. Like, there are Indian nerds. It shouldn't be a surprise to people."
Mindy stressed that only a "small percentage" of people had complained about Velma being South Asian and she understood that because Velma is such a beloved character that people would have opinions.
She continued: "It really made me think okay we've got to be really careful with this character, which we will be, because we really love her."