Sorry, China, you may want to censor Scooby Doo, too!
It’s not the biggest surprise in the world, but LGBT+ fans are delighted to hear that their suspicions were right all along and that Velma from Scooby Doo is in fact a lesbian. Fans have been picking up on the character’s mannerisms all throughout the animated series and live-action movies and, finally, the show’s creators have confirmed the news, sending fans into a frenzy.
“In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script,” wrote James Gunn, who wrote the early live-action movies. He continued, “But the studio just kept watering it down & watering it down, becoming ambiguous (the version shot), then nothing (the released version) & finally having a boyfriend (the sequel).”
Scooby Doo’s producer, Tony Cervone, was also on the same page. In a lengthy Instagram post during 2020’s Pride Month, he wrote: “I’ve said this before, but Velma in ‘Mystery Incorporated’ is not bi. She’s gay. We always planned on Velma acting a little off and out of character when she was dating Shaggy because that relationship was wrong for her and she had unspoken difficulty with the why. There are hints about the why in that episode with the mermaid, and if you follow the entire Marcie arc it seems as clear as we could make it 10 years ago. I don’t think Marcie and Velma had time to act on their feelings during the main timeline, but post-reset, they are a couple. You can not like it, but this was our intention.”
For many, the news is a silly news story, which is being used for publicity. Whereas for queer fans, the revelation is more personal, as it means a greater LGBT+ reputation on our screens, especially in a show which caters towards a younger demographic. “OMG LESBIAN VELMA FINALLY CANON CANON IN THE MOVIES LETS GOOOOOO,” says one tweet, which has been liked by over a quarter of a million times.
Many are hailing the news as an important coming-out landmark moment for the lesbian community. Often, in movies and TV, the first characters to come out are gay men. Lesbian characters are mostly snubbed, even in 2022. “I definitely identified with Velma,” says Julie Bindel, in a piece for the Guardian. “Like her, I was always the odd one out. Of course, I didn’t wonder at that young age whether she was a lesbian, but I certainly knew that she was what we used to call a “tomboy”, just like me.”
The Scooby-Doo world has been around for more than half a century. The show touched multiple generations, and so, Velma’s coming out is an important moment which will unite a wide age range of people – who at some point in their lives – found relatability and escapism in the cute and goofy, Velma Dinkley.