Mindy Kaling Defends Voice Role as Nerdy Velma in New 'Scooby-Doo' Series Amid Backlash

'The Office' actress couldn't understand why the nerdy Velma Dinkley from 'Scooby-Doo' could not be an Indian as she responds to criticisms over her casting.

AceShowbiz - Mindy Kaling has addressed the backlash that followed the announcement of her voice role as Velma in a new "Scooby-Doo" series.

It was announced in February (21) that the 42-year-old actress would voice Scooby-Doo's Velma Dinkley in the upcoming adult animated "Scooby-Doo" prequel named after the brainy character, which will screen on HBO Max, with Mindy also set to produce.

And in an appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on Thursday, "The Office" star explained to the host that while there was lots of support about her taking on the role, some people had an issue with Velma being played by an Indian actress.

"When it was announced that I was going to do the voice of Velma, people were very supportive and happy on Twitter," Mindy said. "And so I felt great."

"These are really intense fans, you know - cartoon, comic book fans, those are huge fans," she said. "And especially (for) a legacy show like this."

In a statement, HBO called the series "an original and humorous spin that unmasks the complex and colorful past of one of America's most beloved mystery solvers."

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

She continued, "There was a lot of, like, 'So not Velma!' 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," she said. "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 and loved to solve mysteries could not be Indian," she continued. "Like, there are Indian nerds. It shouldn't be a surprise to people."

While Mindy was quick to add it the criticism came from a small section of fans, she said, "It really made me think, 'Okay, we've got to be really careful with this character, which we will be because we really love her and she's going to have great adventures.' "

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