6 Tweets That Perfectly Explain Why South Asian Twitter Is Not Feeling 'Velma'

Thedebutof “Velma” earlier this week — a reboot posited to be the adult, modern reinvention of TV classic “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” — came with an impressive achievement: It

was the most-watched premiere of an animated series on HBO Max. Previews built hype for months leading up to it, boasting a diverse Mystery Inc. crew accompanied by an

equally diverse and star-studded cast of voices: a South Asian protagonist Velma (Mindy Kaling), an East Asian Daphne (Constance Wu), a Black Norville, aka Shaggy, (Sam

Richardson), with Shay Mitchell, Jane Lynch, Wanda Skyes and others voicing minor characters. The icing on top was the hint of an unfolding queer love between our two frenemies,

Velma and Daphne. So, what’s not to love? Brown viewers, including myself, have some notes. We arrived to the series, executive-produced by Kaling, only to experience some

unsavory South Asian tropes that simply don’t reflect the nuance of our ethnic identities. It’s a track we’re far too familiar with, having experienced it across “The Mindy

Project,” “Never Have I Ever” and “The Sex Lives of College Girls”: disparaging comments about body hair and being unattractive, relegation to being a loner and misfit, and

thirsty quips over an aggressively mediocre white man.  Don’t get me wrong; the series’ white male showrunner, Charlie Grandy, is also entirely accountable for these

depictions. Yet the show falls back on whatcriticscall Kaling’s familiar pattern of self-insertion, which centers whiteness as a source of validation and displaces brownness

across now four different, highly publicized series.