Conservatives last month were upset that the woke elite in Hollywood cast Halle Bailey, who is Black, to play Ariel in a live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid. They’re now upset that Velma, the Scooby Doo character long believed to be queer, is actually being portrayed as queer in the forthcoming Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo! The horror!
The outrage comes after a teaser for the special shows Velma visibly flustered when the gang first meets Coco Diablo, a woman, apparently confirming Velma is queer. “SCOOBY DOO GOES WOKE WHEN VELMA COMES OUT AS GAY,” read a chyron on Fox News.
Perpetually triggered right-wing pundit Steven Crowder addressed the issue on his podcast, claiming he has no problem with gay TV characters — there just shouldn’t be so many of them. “If we’re going to bitch about appropriation, why do you need to take a straight character and make her lesbian,” he said. “Just go make your own. It’s not our fault people don’t want to watch it, just because we don’t want to watch a bunch of cartoon women shop at Bass Pro.”
Velma wasn’t exactly a paragon of heterosexuality prior to swooning over a female character in the latest Scooby Doo special. The show’s fandom largely understood her to be queer, and James Gunn in 2020 even said he wanted to make Velma “explicitly” gay in his script for the live-action Scooby Doo movie,
“In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script” (for 2002’s live-action “Scooby-Doo’), he wrote on Twitter. “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).”
It doesn’t matter to conservatives trying to turn Velma coming out into an example of woke culture run amok. They need fresh examples of Black or LGBTQ+ characters in popular culture to help convince people that inclusivity is the root of all that’s wrong with the United States, and that hatred, bigotry, and an unhealthy obsession with children’s cartoons are its salvation.