Towards the end of June’s Pride Month, noted animation director/producer Tony Cervone, who’s been involved in various Scooby-Doo media during his career including the recent SCOOB! feature film, revealed through a post on his Instagram that bookish Scooby Gang member Velma Dinkley was in fact written as a lesbian character in the Scooby–Doo! Mystery Incorporated cartoon.
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Marcie and Velma – Mystery Incorporated. I obviously don’t represent every version of Velma Dinkley, but I am one of the key people that represents this one. We made our intentions as clear as we could ten years ago. Most of our fans got it. To those that didn’t, I suggest you look closer. There’s no new news here.
The idea that Velma is queer isn’t exactly a novelty, and jokes about it have practically become something of a cliche. Heck, even Kevin Smith used that bit in his Scooby-Doo parody in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Nevertheless, not everybody seemed to be on board with the revelation that Velma and Marcie Fleach (nicknamed “Hot Dog Water” in the show) were more than just gal pals, with some citing her relationship with Shaggy in Mystery Incorporated‘s first season as evidence either to the contrary or that Velma is actually bisexual. Cervone, however, clarified that Velma was in fact a lesbian.
“I’ve said this before but Velma in Mystery Incorporated is not bi. She’s gay. We always planned on Velma acting a little off and out of character while she was dating Shaggy because that relationship was wrong for her and she had unspoken difficulty with the why. There are hints about the why in that episode with the mermaid, and if you follow the entire Marcie arc it seems as clear as we could make it 10 years ago. I don’t think Marcie and Velma had to act on their feelings during the main timeline, but post reset, they are a couple. You can not like it, but this was our intention.
The real shoe dropped earlier this week, though, when filmmaker James Gunn, who wrote the original live-action Scooby-Doo films years before skyrocketing to mainstream success by making Guardians of the Galaxy a household name, revealed on Twitter that Velma was explicitly a lesbian in his original script.
I tried! In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script. But the studio just kept watering it down & watering it down, becoming ambiguous (the version shot), then nothing (the released version) & finally having a boyfriend (the sequel). 😐 https://t.co/Pxho6Ju1oQ
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 13, 2020
Of course, the intention to make Velma a lesbian only goes so far without actually letting her be a lesbian on-screen. Still, animation in particular has made strides in recent years to portray LGBTQIA characters on-screen, from My Little Pony‘s watershed depiction of a lesbian couple to the recent conclusion of Netflix’s She-Ra series finally making the romantic relationship between Adora and Catra canon. I would not be surprised if we see Velma Dinkley implicitly depicted as a lesbian character in an animation project in the not-too-distant future.