Mindy Kaling accused of race-swapping characters, alpha males, transphobic, portraying Indian girls as 'losers' after Velma of Scooby-Doo remake got 60% Rotten Tomatoes KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Friday, January 13, 2023

Mindy Kaling accused of race-swapping characters, alpha males, transphobic, portraying Indian girls as 'losers' after Velma of Scooby-Doo remake got 60% Rotten Tomatoes

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Mindy Kaling accused of race-swapping characters, alpha males and transphobic, portraying Indian girls as 'losers' after Velma of Scooby-Doo remake got 60% Rotten Tomatoes. (Read More Here).

Velma launches with punchy narration that makes explicitly clear this isn’t a version of Scooby-Doo characters the audience is already familiar with. “I’m Velma Dinkley, and this is my origin story,” Mindy Kaling’s voiceover proclaims as the first episode begins. She continues: “Normally, origin stories are about tall, handsome guys struggling with the burden of being handed even more power. And if they are about girls, it’s usually like: Hey, what made this hot chick go crazy?” This isn’t entirely true, of course, but it’s a vivid snapshot of the type of story Velma strives to tell. Thankfully, it’s told amusingly, even if the show tends to get trapped by the same YA tropes it tries to poke fun at.

Mindy Kaling was caught after she liked a transphobic tweet of JK Rowling. 

HBO Max’s animated comedy re-contextualizes in a new light the four humans who will eventually go on to create Mystery Inc. and adopt the iconic talking Great Dane. (Since it’s a prequel, the show doesn’t have a Scooby-Doo just yet). At its best, Velma is a meta coming-of-age tale for the titular star along with Daphne (Constance Wu), Fred (Glenn Howerton), and Shaggy Norville (Sam Richardson). It’s a frothy mix of murder mystery and soapy teen drama that never takes itself too seriously. The eight of 10 episodes watched for review run less than 30 minutes each, so Velma boasts a well-structured narrative with jokes, suspense, interconnected plotlines, and evolving relationships instead of a “case-of-the-week” format and various monster antics.

At worst, the show doesn’t feel entirely fresh despite approaching beloved characters in a distinctive light. The animation style isn’t distinctive either, but at least it feels like a pointed homage to the cartoon that inspired it. Velma beckons comparisons to everything from Harley Quinn to Riverdale, from Supernatural to Kaling’s own Never Have I Ever. In fact, the similarities between Velma and NHIE’s Devi are often striking: Two selfish but relatable winsome teens burdened by the loss of a parent, and grief becomes a strong motivator for their actions.

As with any Kaling-created TV series, including The Mindy Project and The Sex Lives Of College Girls, the writing here is sharp and full of quips. Velma will leave an enjoyable imprint if you’re already a fan of this other content. The show thrives on mile-a-minute jokes, but they don’t all land equally. Expect a plethora of pop culture references. (Less than two minutes into the pilot, I counted nods to—whether subtle or obvious—Riverdale, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and House Of Lies, and that’s only the beginning). The show is clearly catering to viewers who are well-tapped into the zeitgeist.

Underneath the buzzy one-liners is a generic but fun mystery or two. Velma is trying to find her missing mother, Diya (Sarayu Blue), who vanished a couple of years ago. She’s convinced something terrible happened to her mom. Her dad, Aman (Russell Peters), believes Diya abandoned them, so he moves on with the local diner’s vain waitress/owner Sophie (a delightfully acidic Melissa Fumero). Velma is pathologically obsessed with figuring out what happened to Diya, so she usually disregards people unless they’re useful to her quest. The suspense deepens when a masked serial killer begins targeting popular girls at Crystal Cove High. Naturally, this puts Daphne in grave danger.

Don’t worry, though, because Daphne is more than a damsel in distress. She’s essentially the second lead, voiced pitch-perfectly by Wu with a blend of menace and vulnerability. Adopted by a lesbian couple (played by Jane Lynch and Wanda Sykes), Daphne sets out to learn more about her birth parents as the season evolves. The show’s remarkable contribution to Scooby-Doo lore is developing Velma and Daphne’s captivating dynamic. They go from childhood buddies to frenemies to a potential romance without contrivance.

Actress Mindy Kaling’s brother says that he posed as a black man years ago to get into medical school and that the experience opened his eyes to what he calls the hypocrisy of affirmative action.

The revelation comes as Vijay Chokal-Ingam, who is of Indian descent, is pitching a book about his experiences as a “hard-partying college frat boy who discovered the seriousness and complexity of America’s racial problems while posing as a black man.”

On his website, AlmostBlack.com, Chokal-Ingam says he hatched the plan in 1998 after realizing in college that his grades weren’t going to be good enough to get into med school as an Indian-American.

“So, I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied to medical school as a black man,” he wrote on the website. “My change in appearance was so startling that my own fraternity brothers didn’t recognize me at first.”

He says he joined an organization for black students and applied to schools using his middle name, JoJo.

The plan had some drawbacks, said Chokal-Ingam, who describes himself now as a “professional resume writer, interview coach, and graduate school application consultant.”

“Cops harassed me. Store clerks accused me of shoplifting. Women were either scared of me or couldn’t keep their hands off me,” he wrote. “What started as a devious ploy to gain admission to medical school turned into a twisted social experiment.”

He says it worked. Despite a relatively mediocre 3.1 college grade-point average and a good-but-not-great score of 31 on the Medical College Admission Test, Chokal-Ingam claims he was wooed by several top medical schools.

He even posts documents on his website to bolster his claims, including an enthusiastic letter from a dean at the Emory University School of Medicine congratulating him on his “excellent scores” on the MCAT.

But there’s little evidence to suggest his posturing as a “black” applicant helped him get into these schools. First, there is no point of comparison: Chokal-Ingam never applied to medical schools as an Indian-American.

Chokal-Ingam eventually attended Saint Louis University Medical School, dropping out after two years.

Affirmative action has been in the news a lot the past few years, with a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that tightened how affirmative action admissions programs have to be structured and a 2014 ruling that upheld the University of Michigan’s ban on the use of race in admissions.

Chokal-Ingam says his story shows how affirmative action “destroys the dreams of millions of Indian-American, Asian American, and white applicants for employment and higher education.”

“It also creates negative stereotypes about the academic abilities and professional skills of African-American and Hispanic professionals, who don’t need special assistance in order to compete with other minority groups,” he wrote.

His MCAT scores and science grade point average met SLU’s criteria for admission at that time, and his race or ethnicity did not factor into his acceptance into the University,” the website quoted SLU spokeswoman Nancy Solomon as saying.

As might be expected, Chokal-Ingam’s claim hasn’t gone over well in some quarters.

“How does @VijayIngam disprove the benefits of #affirmativeaction when he never gained admission to SLU based on it?” one Twitter user asked.

Some were more blunt. One said Chokal-Ingam “is an idiot.” the showrunner of "velma", mindy kaling, is both a transphobe and said that you couldn't make "the office" today because cancel culture. she's a fellow reactionary.

she *deliberately* made "velma" suck so the culture war youtubers make a million videos about it to boost its SEO.

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