Showbiz

Velma is already being slammed for a ‘nasty’ #MeToo ‘joke'

Related video: 'Velma' continues Scooby-Doo franchise by diving into gang's past

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Velma Dinkley, of the Scooby Doo franchise, is a beloved childhood favourite for many of us who grew up on the animated series, but a new show on HBO Max looking to explore the origin story of the young sleuth has quickly come under fire over a ‘joke’ about the #MeToo movement.

Created by American actress Mindy Kaling – who also voices the protagonist – the first two episodes of the TV series premiered on the streaming platform on Thursday (12 January). It already has an average audience score of just eight per cent on the reviews site Rotten Tomatoes.

A summary setting out the “critics’ consensus” on the series reads: “Jinkies! This radical reworking of the beloved Mystery Team has plenty of attitude and style, but it doesn’t have the first clue for how to turn its clever subversion into engaging fun.”

Unfortunately, though, that isn’t the only criticism which has come its way, as dialogue from one episode of Velma appears to show the main character joking about #MeToo – a movement which surfaced back in 2017 to draw attention to experiences of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

The stills, shared by gamer Stuart Gipp, read: “Exactly. I spit truth without a filter, like every comedian before hashtag ‘MeToo’.”

As you might expect, a ‘joke’ about a subject matter as sensitive as sexual assault hasn’t exactly gone down well with Twitter users.

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“Velma Dinkley wouldn’t make a nasty joke like this even if she was being held hostage and blackmailed into it,” wrote one.

Another responded: “Absolutely fascinating that this show seems to be courting fashy anti-woke weirdos with jokes like these yet those very same weirdos would obviously boycott this show on principle because of Velma and Shaggy’s redesign.”

“You know it’s a bad show when the people they’re trying to appeal to are hating it,” commented a third.

Others decided to share their support for other iterations of Velma, such as the two movies penned by James Gunn which were released in 2002 and 2004, and the Mystery Incorporated animated series.

One clip from the show, also shared on Twitter, appears to show Fred throwing a tray of some sorts along a school corridor, before it bounces off a wall and severs a schoolboy’s leg. Yes, really.

Tweets have also claimed Kaling allegedly liked a tweet by the author JK Rowling, who has been repeatedly criticised over her stance on trans rights.

Indy100 has approached Kaling’s representatives and HBO Max for comment.

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