A recent revelation that the Scooby-Doo spin-off “Velma” will feature her as an East Asian lead is not sitting well for some people online.
HBO Max announced the brand-new adult animated comedy in February, revealing that the titular character of Velma Dinkley will be voiced by Indian American actress Mindy Kaling.
While the initial announcement got fans excited, social media backlash ensued after Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults, and Classics, revealed new details about the totally reimagined Scooby Gang on Thursday, according to The Mary Sue.
“[Mindy] was excited to reimagine what Scooby-Doo would be like if Velma were of East Asian descent and lived in a different world,” the executive said during The TV Kids Summer Festival. “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.”
“Not our Velma”
While some reacted negatively to the exclusion of the iconic van and talking dog, changing Velma’s character also caused some Twitter users to dismiss the show entirely.
Non-white Velma is fine
Still, many defended the changes and said they are looking forward to the new show.
Meanwhile, others pointed out that Velma has been portrayed as an Asian character before, with Hayley Kiyoko playing her in the 2009 live-action adaption, “Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins,” and its 2010 sequel, “Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster.”
Announced as a “Scooby-Doo” prequel, Warner Bros. Animation’s “Velma” will focus on the origin story of Velma as the “unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang.” Aside from voicing the character, Kaling will also executive produce the upcoming show, according to Entertainment Weekly.