Scooby Doo's Velma Would Have Been Gay If Not For Studio Intervention In Two Modern Adaptations
James Gunn, director of the live-action Scooby-Doo movie, and Tony Cervone, who produced Mystery Incorporated, have revealed that Velma was meant to be gay.
Positive queer representation in older cartoons is extremely rare, but two different Scooby-Doo projects from the last 20 years tried to do something different with the character Velma. As reported by Buzzfeed, both James Gunn's 2002 live-action movie and Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated intended to present Velma as gay--but neither project was ultimately allowed to do so.
Asked by a fan on Twitter if he could make a version of Scooby-Doo where Velma is openly a lesbian, the Guardians of the Galaxy director said that he had planned on doing this with his original film. "Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script," Gunn says. The studio objected, though, and this aspect was watered down until it no longer existed.
I tried! In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script. 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). 😐 https://t.co/Pxho6Ju1oQ— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 13, 2020
Gunn had previously intended to make a more satirical, R-rated version of Scooby-Doo, but this was ultimately not allowed. As Pink News points out, there's a deleted scene that involves Velma kissing Daphne, which was excised entirely from the film.
Whether Velma's sexuality would have been handled respectfully in this original version is impossible to know--although the film we ended up with is not particularly well regarded.
Tony Cervone, a producer on Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated revealed that Velma absolutely is gay in the animated series--even if the show never explicitly states it. In a post to Instagram, Cervone confirms that Velma and Marcie were in a relationship, and that fans who suspected it were correct.
"I obviously don’t represent every version of Velma Dinkley, but I am one of the key people that represents this one," Cervone writes. "We made our intentions as clear as we could ten years ago. Most of our fans got it. To those that didn’t, I suggest you look closer. There’s no new news here."
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Marcie and Velma - Mystery Incorporated. I obviously don’t represent every version of Velma Dinkley, but I am one of the key people that represents this one. We made our intentions as clear as we could ten years ago. Most of our fans got it. To those that didn’t, I suggest you look closer. There’s no new news here.
A post shared by Tony Cervone (@tonycervone) on
In a since-deleted comment, saved by Twitter account Pop Crave, Cervone addresses the relationship Velma has with Shaggy in the show, saying that she "acted off" because it was "wrong for her." He explicitly says that she is gay, not bisexual, and that she and Marcie are "a couple" after a reset in the show. "You can not like it, but this was our intention," he states.
Cervone does not say why Velma's sexuality is not made more explicit, but Warner Bros. animation does not have much of a history with positive gay representation. The show ended in 2013, and many fans who have understood Velma to be a gay woman now know that this was the intention for the character.
In the latest iteration of Scooby-Doo, Scoob!, Velma's sexuality is not touched upon.
Disclosure: ViacomCBS is GameSpot's parent company
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