"There are Indian nerds" - Mindy Kaling responds to backlash over Scooby-Doo's Velma role

Posted by Ando, 26 Jul

Photo credit: DFree / Shutterstock.com

Mindy Kaling has issued the perfect response to the backlash surrounding her role as Velma in the latest Scooby-Doo spin-off.

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The 42-year-old actress has received quite a bit of backlash since it was announced that she would be voicing the role of Velma Dinkley on the new HBO Max Scooby-Doo animated series entitled Velma, and that the character would be of South Asian descent.

Mindy Kaling will also be producing the animated series, and has admitted that she doesn’t understand why Velma’s race has been met with such controversy…

When the project was first announced, it received lots of positive feedback. However, when it was revealed that the show would be going in a different direction to the original Scooby-Doo – i.e. that it would be an adult animated series and Velma would actually be of South Asian descent – some people’s opinions rapidly changed…

“When it was announced that I was going to do the voice of Velma, people were very supportive and happy on Twitter. So I felt great because these are really intense fans – cartoon, comic book fans,” the mom-of-two said when she appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers.

However, the 'Never Have I Ever' co-creator noted that people’s opinions rapidly changed once they found out that Velma would be reimagined...

"People were not happy," Mindy Kaling added. "There was a lot of, 'So, not Velma?' Those kinds of tweets.

"First of all, I didn't know that she elicited such strong reactions in either direction.

“She's such a great character, she's so smart and I just couldn't understand how people couldn't imagine a really smart, nerdy girl with terrible eyesight who loved to solve mysteries, could not be Indian.

"There are Indian nerds."

The actress and producer went on to confirm that even though there is some criticism, she is choosing to look at the bigger picture, as only “a small percentage of people" have actually reacted negatively…

"It made me think, 'OK, we've got to be really careful with this character,' which we will be because we love her and she's going to have great adventures," she concluded.

We love Mindy’s response, and can’t wait to see her new take on the beloved character!

7 responses to ""There are Indian nerds" - Mindy Kaling responds to backlash over Scooby-Doo's Velma role "

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  1.   dodgethis2k says:
    Posted: 30 Jul 21

    Create new characters instead of race swapping old ones. If you can't then it is because you aren't talented enough to do so.

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    • blackbelle01 says:
      Posted: 23 Aug 21

      I have to agree with dodgethis2k on this one. They should make different characters. I grew up looking at this cartoon and it was one of my favorites. They actually could have just written a new character for her to play and in my opinion its not racist to not want her to play the part. I would have a huge problem if Black Panther had a lead that was not Black. Not everything is about race or racism.

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  2. Posted: 29 Jul 21

    Like I told these (mostly white) folks when they complained about a Hispanic Spiderman, or a female Thor: "Spiderman, or Thor, or Santa Clause, for that matter, are FICTIONAL characters. It doesn't take away from who they are, when they are "reimagined" or updated.

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    • dodgethis2k says:
      Posted: 30 Jul 21

      "Like I told these (mostly white) folks..." How very racist of you.

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      • 01Gentle says:
        Posted: 11 Aug 21

        We learn from the best....white folks and we are still learning lessons from the Trump administration.

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      • wiseoneinmil says:
        Posted: 14 Aug 21

        dodge, calling someone racist who correctly points out white people's racism, is a new technique, but a very ineffective, dumb one. Is that what you learned at the last "Stop the Steal" rally?

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