Diversity is taking center stage in Mindy Kaling’ s Scooby-Doo reboot series coming to HBO Max .
New first-look images for the upcoming adult animated series Velma show an ethnically diverse Mystery Inc. gang that includes a South Asian Velma, an Asian Daphne, and a Black Shaggy, as revealed by The Hollywood Reporter .
Actor Sam Richardson took to Twitter to confirm the casting news after it was announced.
“Zoinks!” he wrote in response to the initial report.
— Sam Richardson (@SamRichardson) October 6, 2022
Joining Richardson on the diverse cast include Kaling who voices the series’ star Velma, Glenn Howerton as Fred and Constance Wu as Daphne. The star-studded cast is also comprised of familiar names like Jane Lynch , Wanda Sykes , Russell Peters , “Weird Al” Yankovic , Melissa Fumero , Gary Cole , Cherry Jones , Stephen Root , Nicole Byer , Ming-Na Wen , Fortune Feimster , Sarayu Blue , Yvonne Orji , Shay Mitchell , Kulap Vilaysak , Debby Ryan , and NBA star, Karl-Anthony Towns .
Welker is a veteran of the Scooby-Doo series and has voiced Fred in almost every animated iteration of the cult classic cartoon since its 1969 inception.
While unveiling the diverse cast, Kaling was quick to shut down any critics who might take issue with the South Asian Velma, Asian Daphne, or Black Shaggy.
“No one’s imaginations ever had a problem with a talking dog solving mysteries, so I think we can handle a brown Velma,” Kaling said.
Kaling has stood firm in her stance for a diverse cast and has defended the new Velma ‘s South Asian background, IGN reports.
“Hopefully you noticed my Velma is South Asian,” Kaling told a crowd back in May. “If people freak out about that, I don’t care.”
“I just couldn’t understand how people couldn’t imagine a really smart, nerdy girl with terrible eyesight, and who loved to solve mysteries, could be Indian,” Kaling added.
No word on if Velma is a lesbian like she is in the latest animated Scooby-Doo film.
Images of the new cast show Fred has a mini goatee, Daphne has a more modern red hairstyle, and Shaggy has his hair in dreadlocks.
HBO Max’s new animated series #Velma will feature the voices of Mindy Kaling as Velma, Glenn Howerton as Fred , Constance Wu as Daphne and Sam Richardson as Norville aka Shaggy. pic.twitter.com/JkFaeUtaHf
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) October 6, 2022
Written by Jeroslyn Johnson | Shared from Black Enterprise @blackenterprise