Mindy Kaling Is Unconcerned Over Velma Backlash

By Jessica Lerner 

Mindy Kaling remains unconcerned by the backlash for recasting her titular character in the upcoming HBO Max series Velma as South Asian.

The negative reaction and criticism may have been somewhat surprising, but The Office alum took it in stride when asked about it at New York Comic-Con, according to Insider.

“I think of the characters in this as so iconic, but in no way is the gang defined by their whiteness, except for Fred,” Kaling said. “So, I was a little bit surprised and I think most Indian-American girls when they see this skeptical, hardworking, kind of underappreciated character, can identify with her.”


Kaling, for one, has always identified with Velma.

“She was so cute, but not like traditionally hot — super smart, super thick glasses, questionable haircut,” she said of Velma. “I just love the series and I feel so honored to do the voice.”

The actress went on to praise recent projects like Spider-Verse, which have “characterizations of beloved characters that are unconventional.”

“I think the vast majority of people are excited and ready for it,” Kaling said, “and the show is for them.”

Velma is billed as an adult animated comedy series telling the origin story of Velma Dinkley as it explores the origins of Mystery Inc. before they traveled the world solving mysteries.

Along with Kaling, who also executive produces the series, Velma features a diverse cast, including a diverse cast featuring Constance WuSam Richardson and Glenn Howerton. The ensemble cast includes of Jane LynchWanda Sykes, Stephen RootGary ColeMing-Na Wen and Cherry Jones.