Mindy Kaling on Backlash to Velma Being South Asian: "I Don't Care"
So back in February 2021, HBO Max released an impressive line-up of adult animation projects that were on the horizons, including a Clone High restart from Phil Lord, Chris Miller & Bill Lawrence, Fired on Mars with Pete Davidson, Harley Quinn, The Prince, Santa Inc., 10 Year Old Tom, and the return of The Boondocks. But the one that we were really looking forward to was Mindy Kaling's upcoming Velma, focusing on the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang. Kaling will executive produce as well as supply the voice of the titular character, with Charlie Grandy, Howard Klein, and Sam Register also serving as executive producers.
Now a little more than a year later, Kaling addressed the initial trolling the series received by some on social media when it was announced that Velma would be reimagined as South Asian. Taking the stage to offer a look at a preview image from the animated series during Warner Bros Discovery's Upfronts earlier today (more on that below), Kaling is making it pretty clear that she isn't wasting her time on those folks anymore. "Nobody ever complained about a talking dog solving mysteries so I don't think they'll be upset over a brown Velma," Kaling said in response to the topic. "Hopefully you noticed my Velma is South Asian. If people freak out about that, I don't care."
Checking in with NBC's Late Night With Seth Meyers in July 2021, Kaling first addressed the pushback from gatekeepers online. "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," she explained. "Then it was announced a month ago that the Velma character would be reimagined as South Asian. And people were not happy. There was a lot of, like, 'So not Velma!' Those kind of tweets. 'Not the classic Velma that I'm always thinking about.'"