Remember Velma from Scooby-Doo? She’s now a South Asian character in a new animated series

Everyone’s favourite orange sweatshirt-wearing nerdy teen detective is finally getting her own solo series, but not without ruffling some feathers.  

At the Warner Bros Discovery Upfront presentation on Wednesday (May 18), actress and producer Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project) revealed a first look at the adult-oriented animated series based on, and named after, beloved Scooby-Doo character Velma. 

The reveal that Velma will be reimagined as South Asian for the series last year caused an eruption on social media. During an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers last July, the 42-year-old Kaling claimed that the discourse around Velma’s race encouraged her to “be careful” while taking free license with her interpretation of the character.

However, when the first look at the series was revealed with Velma visibly having darker skin, she told the crowd at the presentation: “Hopefully you noticed my Velma is South Asian. If people freak out about that, I don’t care”, adding that “if a talking dog can solve crimes, Velma can be brown”.

Velma’s new appearance was met with both excitement and frustration from fans of the beloved character, with some accusing Kaling of “inserting herself into the character’s narrative”. Others expressed their excitement, saying the show was “in good hands” with Kaling also set to be an executive producer.

The series will take the brains behind Mystery Inc’s operations, exploring her origins before she joins Scooby-Doo and the rest of the gang and is part of HBO Max’s push to create adult animation programmes.

In a first look image that you can view here, it’s clear the series is meant for adults given the nudity and gore in the form of someone with her head sliced open. 

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