Controversy over “Velma” tv show?

So I’ve been reading that there’s a backlash against Mindy Kaling over a #MeToo joke she wrote for her new show Velma. I haven’t watched it or followed the show-does anyone know more about it or have some context?


  1. Mindy Kaling didn’t write the joke. She’s one of the Executive Producers on the show, but that episode (and probably the joke) was written by Charlie Grandy.

  2. The joke isn’t the problem. The entire show, IMHO, is lazily written by people that hate the property they are writing about.


It’s more like “Of COURSE this show would make a joke about #metoo. The humour is lazy and tired and cruel and punches down and this is entirely par-for-the-course.”

Why is she apparently receiving the heat for it?

NM and four more words

…I mean, its the internet.

But she’s also an Executive Producer on the show. This, along with the other Executive Producers, is their show. And the direction the show takes is entirely reflective of the same choices that she has made in the past on the other shows she has either created, produced or written for.

In her job, would Kaling be expected to know every line in the script?

According to the link @Banquet_Bear posted, Kaling did the voice of Velma, so I think we can assume she knew this line.

…as I’ve said: the line isn’t the problem. Its reflective of the larger problem. The entire show is just lazy, cruel, misogynistic, sexist, and dated. And yes, as one of the Executive Producers setting the direction of the show is indeed part of her job.

Yes. Most of the characters are race-swapped, which isn’t the problem. The problem is that they are entirely personality-swapped. That, and that the writing is really bad.

She managed the amazing feat of getting the left and right to both hate the show. I think it’s at something like 18% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Here is the Forbes review:

I don’t know what studio exec looked at the Scooby-Doo franchise and said “You know what would improve this? Getting rid of the title character!”, but that’s the main controversy I think needs to be investigated.

I think that they weren’t given permission to use Scooby. (ETA: I’m not re-finding info on that, but regardless if he was there, he would be recast as a rabid pitbull.)

Indeed it’s fair to say that she did, and as Executive Producer she could have vetoed it.

As both an executive producer and the main actor, she is pretty much the face of this project. She’s the one who had been pushing it and taking ownership of the direction they were going with it.

Whatever problems this has, I don’t think this is one of them. This is a spin off, with Velma as the main character. It’s not even set in the same universe.

I actually would argue the problem is that they kept everyone else.

That joke is too stupid to be offensive. The thing is, it’s so patently unfunny I don’t think that anyone would find it funny, including people who think #metoo went too far.

I wonder if this show was trying to appeal to all elements of the political spectrum and ended up annoying everyone?

We’ll have to split up.

…nah, I think it’s much simpler than that. The writers simply thought the joke was funny.

HBO is a WB property and they own Scooby-Doo, so I’m not sure who’d be in a position to deny them thr right to use their own IP.

Like, zoinks, man!

I can’t muster any outrage for the joke but I think it fails to land because it connects two things that aren’t related. The #metoo movement was not about comedians being too edgy. It was about women being sexually assaulted. But the context of the joke seems to be a swipe at the larger issue of cancel culture and its perceived impact on stand up comedy. Women started talking more openly about sexual assault and this somehow meant stand up comics couldn’t tell funny jokes any longer? Was there a comic out there who had to discard a hilarious rape routine because of #metoo? And are we mad about that? Assuming we aren’t, it’s a weird non-sequitur for trying to establish that a character talks like they think someone else used to before something unrelated happened.