Mindy Kaling isn’t backing down from critics of her South Asian Velma Dinkley, and she shared a sneak peek of the clearly brown-skinned character this week.
The seemingly adult-oriented “Scooby-Doo” spinoff, simply entitled “Velma,” will be released on HBO Max later this year, with Kaling serving as executive producer and voice of the titular character. Fans and critics have speculated about what the reimagined Asian Velma will look like since the series was announced last year.
At the Warner Bros. Discovery upfront presentation Wednesday, Kaling gave audiences the answer. In a first-look image of her new series, a dark-skinned, dark-haired Velma can be seen standing at a crime scene in her classic orange turtleneck, plus a black hoodie.
“Hopefully you noticed my Velma is South Asian,” Kaling told the audience. “If people freak out about that, I don’t care.”
Velma’s complexion isn’t the only thing that’s changing with the spinoff. The photo features the title character and a group of mostly clothes-less women staring down at a dead body, indicating the show will be geared toward an entirely different audience than previous iterations of "Scooby-Doo."
Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for more information.
When the series was announced, the “Never Have I Ever” producer faced racist backlash from “Scooby” fans who said making Velma Asian would not keep with the original story, which premiered on CBS in 1969.
“Well she’s not Velma then is she,” one person tweeted then.
But fans pointed out that Scooby and the gang at large have changed over the decades with remakes. Velma has been voiced by 12 different actors, including people of Japanese and Puerto Rican descent.
“Nobody ever complained about a talking dog solving mysteries,” Kaling said during the presentation. “So I don’t think they’ll be upset over a brown Velma.”