Scooby-Doo spin-off 'Velma' receives backlash for "gore and nudity" in first look photo

19 May 2022, 14:23 | Updated: 19 May 2022, 14:32

Mindy Kaling addresses backlash over her role as Scooby Doo's Velma

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Velma is aimed at an adult audience…

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Mindy Kaling has shared the first image from HBO Max's upcoming Scooby-Doo spin-off Velma and the internet has thoughts…

In 2021, it was announced that Mindy would be starring in and producing an adult animated series that focused on Scooby-Doo's Velma Dinkley. Fans of the Scooby-Doo franchise will know that Velma is the brains behind Mystery Inc. and the HBO Max series was slated as an exploration of Velma's origin story.

Mindy also confirmed that Velma would be of South Asian heritage, like herself, in the new series, despite having been portrayed as white since her creation in 1969.

Mindy's decision sparked criticism from people who believed that there was no need to change Velma's race. At the time, Mindy hit back: "First of all, I didn't know that she elicited such strong reactions in either direction. She's such a great character.

READ MORE: Mindy Kaling shuts down criticism of Velma being South Asian in upcoming Scooby-Doo series

Scooby-Doo spin-off &squot;Velma&squot; receives backlash for "gore and nudity" in first look photo
Scooby-Doo spin-off 'Velma' receives backlash for "gore and nudity" in first look photo. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery

"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."

Now there's fresh backlash for the upcoming series following the release of the first image. On Wednesday (May 18), Mindy gave a sneak preview of what's to come in Velma at the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront presentation. In the image, Velma appears to be in a locker room glaring at the body of someone who has been scalped and has their brains pouring out. Then, behind her are multiple women who are also gazing in horror at the body, but who also happen to be naked, with soap suds covering their intimate areas.

We also see that Velma is South Asian as previously confirmed, but apart from her skin colour, the character looks exactly the same in her trademark orange turtleneck and thick-rimmed glasses.

The image was quickly circulated on social media and people had a problem with certain elements of the photo.

One person tweeted: "Gore and Nudity in its first image... That kinda made me lost interest on it tbh." Another added: "I wish more people understood you can make something "for adults" without shoehorning gore and nudity into it."

Clearly sensing the incoming criticism, Mindy told the audience at the presentation: "Hopefully you noticed my Velma is South Asian. If people freak out about that, I don’t care."

Will you be watching Velma? Tweet us @popbuzz and let us know!

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