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Mindy Kaling addresses criticism of her casting as 'Scooby-Doo's Velma

Mindy Kaling responded to backlash over her HBO Max series Velma reimagining the Scooby-Doo character as South Asian. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Mindy Kaling responded to backlash over her HBO Max series "Velma" reimagining the "Scooby-Doo" character as South Asian. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 23 (UPI) -- Mindy Kaling is responding to criticism of her casting as Velma from Scooby-Doo.

The 42-year-old writer, actress and producer addressed backlash on Thursday's episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers to her HBO Max series Velma reimagining the character as South Asian.

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Kaling will voice the title character in Velma, an animated Scooby-Doo spinoff series the provides an origin story for Velma. On Late Night, Kaling said fans were initially supportive of her casting.

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

Kaling said people started to object once more details about her character emerged.

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

"There were a lot of 'so not Velma' tweets. Like, those kind of tweets. 'Not the classic Velma that I'm always thinking about!'" she added. "First of all, I didn't know that she elicited such strong reactions, in either direction."

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Kaling expressed her surprise over the reaction.

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

Kaling said the criticism came from a small number of people but pushed her to take extra care with the role.

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

HBO Max ordered Velma in February. Kaling will star in and executive produce the show.

In addition to Velma, Kaling is attached to write the new Legally Blonde sequel, Legally Blonde 3. She gave an update on the project on Watch What Happens Live this week, saying she is working on the first draft of the script.

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