Mindy Kaling Responds to Any “Freak Out” Over Her South Asian Scooby Doo Character in Velma

Mindy Kaling voices South Asian crime-solver Velma in the upcoming animated Scooby-Doo spinoff. Here's what she had to say about fans who disapprove.

By Steven Vargas May 18, 2022 11:51 PMTags
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Mindy Kaling has no time for the haters.

When the Never Have I Ever creator shared a look at the Scooby-Doo animated spinoff Velma during a Warner Bros Discovery Upfront presentation on May 18, she was blunt about her support for making the title character South Asian, Deadline reported. 

Mindy, who voices Velma, said, "Hopefully you noticed my Velma is South Asian. If people freak out about that, I don't care."

She went on to say that if a dog can solve crime, Velma "can be brown," per Deadline.

Mindy is also the executive producer of the HBO Max series that uncovers the origin story of Velma Dinkley. The streamer announced the series in February 2021 and was met with backlash online as some fans saw her character as feeding into the South Asian brainiac stereotype, according to Deadline.

In July 2021, Mindy addressed the comments on Late Night with Seth Meyerssaying, "When it was announced that I was going to do the voice of Velma, people were very supportive and happy on Twitter. 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."

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

Mindy recalled seeing '"so not Velma'" tweets that claimed a South Asian Velma was not what people saw for the character.

Steve Granitz/WireImage

"She's such a great character, she's so smart," Mindy said. "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."

During the interview with Seth Meyers, Mindy shared that she realized she'd need to be careful with the character because of how much she loves Velma. And we can now see how she's dedicated to keeping Velma away from social media trolls. 

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