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‘In no way is the gang defined by their whiteness’: Velma Actor Mindy Kaling Claps Back at Racist Trolls, Says Indian-American Girls Can Identify With Her

velmai as south asian

The Scooby-Doo franchise is considered to be one of the most iconic and timeless franchises from the childhoods of a large number of people. Needless to say, fans were absolutely excited when a spin-off series, Velma, was recently announced, focusing on the brains of the series, Velma Dinkley.

Velma Scooby Doo
Velma in Scooby-Doo!

Velma’s character is voiced by actor and producer, Mindy Kaling, known for her work in The Mindy Project. However, criticism soon knocked on the doors of the creators as some fans were upset about Velma’s character being represented as South Asian.

Also Read: Scooby-Doo Spin-off Starring Mindy Kaling Will Be For Adult Audience, Reveals Actor

Mindy Kaling Faces Backlash 

Mindy Kaling Velma
Actor, Producer Mindy Kaling

Also Read: “OMG LESBIAN VELMA FINALLY CANON IN THE MOVIES LETS GO”: Fans Delighted as Velma is Officially Lesbian in the New Scooby-Doo Movie

At the New York Comic Con, Mindy Kaling opened up about the criticism Velma is facing for the character being of South Asian descent. She said that she is “constantly surprised” by how people tend to react to everything on social media, and that, even though iconic, characters are not defined by their skin color. Kaling also spoke about how young Indian-American girls can identify with Velma’s new representation.

I think of characters in this as so iconic, but in no way is the gang defined by their whiteness, except for Fred. I think most Indian-American girls when they see this skeptical, hardworking, kind of underappreciated character, can identify with her.” 

During her appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Kaling revealed that when it was announced that she would be giving voice to Velma, she received an overwhelmingly positive response from fans. However, the positive soon turned to negative when HBO Max revealed Velma’s South Asian descent. She stated that it was baffling how people could not accept that a “smart, nerdy girl with terrible eyesight who loved to solve mysteries” could very well be Indian.

The Office actor also went ahead and compared Velma to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, saying that it featured characterisations of beloved characters that are unconventional.

Also Read: ‘Gotta get all the colors of the rainbow in there’: Fans Dumbfounded as HBO Max’s Adults Only VELMA Series Introduces Diverse Shaggy, Daphne, and Fred

What to Expect from Velma

Velma South Asian
Velma revealed as South Asian

Apart from the mentioned changes, Mindy Kaling also revealed that Velma will have “unresolved sexual tension with a lot of characters,” after the character was officially announced as a lesbian. 

This journey of self-discovery for her is something that really drew us to this project and this character. So we want to honour other interpretations and what we think feels really modern.”

She said that the vast majority of people are quite excited about the new changes made to the show and that “the show is for them.” She sure makes a point as a lot of people are truly excited by the diverse casting choices, including Shaggy being represented as Black and Daphne as an Asian. She also stated that since Velma is a character that is so close to people’s hearts, everyone that played a role in the making of the series had to be extremely cautious with the character. She added that despite all the criticism, Velma was going to have great adventures. 

Velma will be available to stream in 2023 on HBO Max.

Source: Screen Rant

Written by Mishkaat Khan

Mishkaat is a medical student who found solace in content writing. Having worked in the industry for about three years, she has written about everything from medicine to literature and is now happy to enlight you about the world of entertainment. When not writing, she can be found obsessing over supernatural beings through books and TV.