Mindy Kaling Responds to Backlash Over Her Casting as Velma From Scooby-Doo

Mindy Kaling responded to criticism of being cast as Velma in an upcoming spinoff series of Scooby-Doo, stating, “There are Indian nerds. It shouldn’t be a surprise to people.”

By Kisha Forde Jul 23, 2021 1:33 PMTags

Mindy Kaling didn't think she'd have to deal with people unhappy that she would voice bookish crime-fighter, Velma, in an upcoming Scooby-Doo spinoff.

"When it was announced that I was going to do the voice of Velma, people were very supportive and happy on Twitter," the actress explained during the July 22 episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers. "And so, I felt great because these are really intense fans, you know—cartoon, comic book fans, those are huge fans. And especially [for] a legacy show like this."

Back in February, HBO Max announced production plans for Velma, which is being described as an "adult animated comedy series." The upcoming spinoff will explore Velma's origin story, with Mindy serving as a producer and the voice of the beloved character.

However, as The Office alum revealed, things took an unexpected turn as more details about the project started to come out.

"Then it was announced about a month ago that the Velma character would be reimagined as South Asian," Mindy explained. "And people were not happy."

Mindy Kaling's Best Looks

Basically it all would have been fine if not for those meddling Internet users. "There were a lot of ‘so not Velma' tweets," Mindy continued. "Like, those kind of tweets. 'Not the classic Velma that I'm always thinking about!' First of all, I didn't know that she elicited such strong reactions, in either direction."

Though there's plenty of reason for her to be one of the more beloved members of the gang. "She's such a great character, she's so smart," Mindy added. "And I just couldn't understand how people couldn't imagine a really smart, nerdy girl with terrible eyesight and loved to solve mysteries could not be Indian. Like, there are Indian nerds. It shouldn't be a surprise to people."

The Never Have I Ever co-creator also made sure to note that the criticism only came from a small number of people, but admitted it did make her think bigger in terms of her character's story arc.

"It really made me think, ‘Okay, we've got to be really careful with this character,'" Mindy shared. "Which we will be because we really love her and she's going to have great adventures."
Watch the interview for yourself above!

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