Earlier this year, HBO Max announced that comedian Mindy Kaling would not only be producing a Scooby-Doo prequel animated series about the character Velma Dinkley, but would also be voicing the bespectacled mystery solver in the Velma prequel.
“Velma,” which will delve into the origin story of the beloved animated sleuth and member of the Mystery Inc. gang, has been given a 10-episode order. Kaling will executive produce in addition to starring. Charlie Grandy, Howard Klein, and Sam Register also serve as executive producers. Warner Bros. Animation will produce.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t sit well with certain “critics” that the Velma Dinkley would be voiced by an Indian-American actress with Kaling clapping back to the detractors on Twitter.
During TV Kids Summer Festival 2021 virtual online event Tom Ascheim, Warner Bros. Global Kids, revealed new details about the upcoming Velma prequel animated series most notably that the series will reimagine the character as having East Asian descent and living in a different world.
“We have a new Mindy Kaling project called Velma because she was excited to reimagine would Scooby-Doo would be like if Velma were East-Asian descent and lived in a very different world. 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 and I think it’s great. Allowing our creators to play with our IP is super powerful.”
Once again, the news is eliciting strong reactions online that I advise people to avoid if you want to retain some semblance of your own sanity.
However, as it’s been noted, this isn’t the first time that Velma Dinkley has been portrayed by a different ethnicity. Actress Hayley Kiyoko played the character in the 2009 and 2019 Cartoon Network live-action films, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster. And most recently she was voiced by Gina Rodriguez in the Scoob! animated movie last year.