The Mindy Kaling series will reimagine the Scooby-Doo character in a whole new way.
Get ready to see a brand-new take on Velma Dinkley. Back in February, HBO Max announced that Mindy Kaling would voice the Scooby-Doo character in a brand-new adult animated comedy. Now it’s been revealed that Mindy Kaling’s Velma series will feature an East Asian lead and totally reimagine the Scooby Gang. Naturally, Twitter exploded.
New info about Velma was revealed on June 10, when Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults, and Classics president Tom Ascheim spoke at the TV Kids Summer Festival and dropped hints about what fans can expect. “[Mindy] was excited to reimagine what Scooby-Doo would be like if Velma were of East Asian descent and lived in a different world,” Ascheim said. “And in that version, which is going on HBO Max first, there’s no dog and no van. But we have our four key characters through a different lens.”
That sounds cool, which is why Velma started trending on Twitter after Ascheim’s panel, right? Um, not exactly. Unfortunately, *certain* Twitter users are once again angry that a person of color is playing a traditionally white cartoon character. You may remember the same thing happened when Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in the upcoming Little Mermaid remake, or when Zendaya was cast as Mary Jane (aka MJ) in the latest Spider-Man movies.
But it’s not all just naysayers out there. Many fans on Twitter are stoked about the new take on Velma.
Of course, some people are wondering how Velma could possibly be the same character if she’s not riding around in the Mystery Machine with Scooby. And sure, there’s something to be said about how the same nostalgic stories get told over and over again when Hollywood could and should give more underrepresented creators a chance to tell original stories of their own. But Velma is a reimagined adult cartoon, and as Ascheim said during his panel, Warner Bros. already owned the IP on the character, so like, why not use it in a more representative way?
Plus, this isn’t the first time Velma has been portrayed as an Asian woman: Hayley Kiyoko played her in the live-action, made-for-TV movies Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster. And knowing how much wit and heart Kaling brings to the projects she works on, many fans are more than ready for her take on Velma.