HBO’s Woke “Velma” Scooby-Doo Reboot Goes Down In Flames

Critics destroy modern rendition of Scooby, which race-swaps classic characters and makes Velma and Daphne interracial lesbians.

Image Credits: HBO Max, Rotten Tomatoes,

HBO Max’s new adult-oriented animated Scooby Doo spin-off series “Velma” debuted last week and the reboot was immediately panned by critics on both sides of the political spectrum, as well as the mainstream media.

The woke revision, in which classic members of the Mystery Inc. crime-solving gang are race-swapped, is produced by Indian American comedy actress Mindy Kaling, who also voices the show’s investigative protagonist Velma Dinkley – who’s now of Indian descent and a lesbian.

The race swaps include turning characters Shaggy, who’s referred to as “Norville,” into a black man, while red-haired Daphne is Asian. To top it off, the original show’s namesake pooch, Scooby, does not make an appearance.

On top of being savaged by online ratings sites like Rotten Tomatoes, where it received a 6% audience score, the show’s objective awfulness served as fodder for social media commenters and the mainstream media alike.

Twitter leftists pointed out the show’s jokes attempt to appeal to all sides, but fail – essentially alienating all audiences and leaving it without a base.

Over at Forbes, author Paul Tassi noted, “‘Velma’ Is So Bad It’s Spawned Psyop Conspiracy Theories,” pointing out how Twitter users were coping with the epic fail by spinning conspiracies that Kaling could be a secret right-wing provocateur on a mission to make the left look bad.

But people are certainly talking about Velma, that much is true. Just…not very positively. Velma currently has the lowest audience score I’ve seen for an HBO or HBO Max production, a 7%. To get that low requires not just “review bombing” but your show also likely has to be…genuinely bad.

And it is. Velma is very, very bad.

Velma is so bad in fact, that it’s spawning conspiracy theories that creator Mindy Kaling made what is essentially a parody of what the right wing thinks left wing comedy is like. As in, a show that not just recast most roles with new races, but also features loads and loads of “white guys, amiright?” jokes. The idea is that Kaling is a secretly conservative force in media trying to make the left look bad by making a cringey adult cartoon full of “this rich white guy has a small dong” jokes that the right can point at as everything wrong with race-recasted, social justice-influenced media.

Tassi highlighted the tweet below as evidence, and the following tweet in a subsequent article.

In his follow-up, “HBO Max’s ‘Velma’ Is Getting Absolutely Savaged In Reviews And Online,” Tassi wrote, “Above all else, it feels like the humor just is not connecting for really any audience. The show feels like it’s trying to annoy anyone that watches it, and the Scooby Doo IP almost seems secondary to the entire concept.”

More from the Forbes editor:

“Right now, Velma has really nothing else to compare itself to in terms of how badly it’s scoring, and it cannot blame a politically driven review bombing campaign given that both sides of the aisle dislike it for different reasons. What a bizarre situation.”


In short, Velma has hit the holy trinity: It is in fact being bombed by right-wing viewers complaining about “woke” content. And yet unlike other series that do this, left-wing viewers are not finding the show defensible, and are also scoring it low. Not because of “woke” content, but because it’s just…bad. And then you have the third pillar, upset Scooby Doo fans who like the classic series and IP and hate that it’s being used in this way for a bad adult cartoon. That may actually be the largest group, based on the reviews I’m reading online.

It seems HBO Max has once again proven the old maxim: Get woke, go broke.

Watch YouTube commentators Sh0eonhead and The Quartering give their takes on the leftist cope over HBO’s botched abortion of a show.

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