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HBO’s Velma Backlash Is Addressed By Show Creator Who Says, “We Are Not Erasing The Originals”


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Charlie Grandy gives his opinion on the criticism against HBO Max’s Velma a few months after the episode ignited the internet with its controversial content. Developed by Grandy with creative input from star and executive producer Mindy Kaling, the series acted as an adult-oriented origin tale for the titular Scooby-Doo character as he navigated high school, a love quadrangle between the Mystery Inc., and the mystery of local adolescent girls being killed. Mindy Kaling also served as an executive producer on the show. Velma, which also starred Constance Wu, Sam Richardson, and Glenn Howerton, received mixed reviews from critics. Still, an overwhelming majority of audience members gave the film poor ratings.

HBO's Velma Backlash Is Addressed By Show Creator Who Says, We Are Not Erasing The Originals_

Charlie Grandy discussed the significant criticism that the HBO Velma program has received in an exclusive interview that was featured on the cover of the most recent issue of Emmys magazine. The author recalled Warner Bros.’s strong support of his and Kaling’s irreverent take on the legendary Scooby-Doo characters and reassured viewers that their approach wasn’t meant to replace the beloved original episodes. The creator also recalled Warner Bros. Look at what Grandy had to say down below:

There are still places online where you can see the classic Hanna-Barbera shows. We will not be destroying the originals in any way. We want to be a tiny ice planet in the furthest reaches of the Scoobyverse! Mindy told me she would be thrilled to collaborate with Velma on a narrative…She was a huge fan of the character and believed putting her in the spotlight would make for an entertaining show. Why stop [at Velma being South Asian]? That was the question that ran through our heads. None of these characters has whiteness as their primary identity. We were concerned about going to Warner Bros. and asking them to do it; nonetheless, they told us to go ahead and do it. Now is the time! Just make sure that it’s entertaining as well as interesting!’

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Even before it debuted on HBO Max in January of this year, Velma had already established itself as one of the most infamous sitcoms on television. Viewers were quick to object to the show’s perpetuation of negative stereotypes of South Asian women and its overt attempts at humor that was self-aware. The reviews that the series received from critics could have been more positive. However, some of them praised the attempt to violate the expectations of Scooby-Doo fans by including a man-baby Fred and a Black Shaggy who is anti-drug. On the other hand, the consensus was that it should have capitalized on its efforts.

Velma managed to break the record for the biggest launch day of an original animated show on HBO Max, despite the significant abuse directed towards the show. During the first season, She was one of the most watched programs on the streaming service, which ultimately led to a renewal for a second season in the middle of February. The question that is now on the minds of many viewers is whether or not the second season of Velma will attempt to learn from what was seen to be missteps by reviewers and audiences or whether it will continue to follow the road set by its first season.

In response to the criticisms against the show, Grandy seemed eager to keep his and Kaling’s concept intact moving forward into Velma season 2. Those viewers who were genuinely against the Scooby-Doo twist will likely return to the show if the creative team takes a new approach to bridge the gap between their ideas and what audiences love and expect from the franchise. Even though audiences’ hate-watch curiosity worked in the show’s favor for season 1 of the show, the Scooby-Doo twist was ultimately met with genuine opposition.

Source: Emmys

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