After decades of speculation, one of the most enduring pop culture fan theories has finally been confirmed: Velma Dinkley from Scooby-Doo is gay.
At least, that’s the assessment of two key figures involved with the franchise: James Gunn, who wrote the two live-action Scooby-Doo movies, and Tony Cervone, a producer on TV series Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated.
Gunn, who has since gone on to huge success as the writer-director of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movies, confirmed on Twitter that his original script for the 2001 film left no ambiguity about the sexual orientation of the Scooby gang’s brainiest member, portrayed by Linda Cardellini.
In response to a fan asking him to bring an openly gay Velma to screens, Gunn replied, “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).”
Meanwhile, Tony Cervone took to Instagram to confirm that the character was written as gay in Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated – although they were not permitted to be too explicit on the matter.
Cervone explains that Mystery Incorporated supporting character Marcie, AKA ‘Hot Dog Water’ – who, funnily enough, is voiced by Linda Cardellini – was intended as a love interest for Velma, and the producer stresses “we made our intentions as clear as we could ten years ago.”
This is not the first time that Gunn and Cervone have both spoken out on this matter – and Gunn has confirmed that the first cut of 2001’s Scooby-Doo originally featured a scene in which Velma shared a kiss with Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar).
Fans have speculated about Velma’s sexuality ever since the first incarnation of Scooby-Doo hit screens in 1969, although the show’s creators Joe Ruby and Ken Spears have never commented on the matter.
Recent years have seen LGBT characters more widely represented in child-oriented animation, on such TV shows as Steven Universe, Adventure Time, Voltron: Legendary Defender and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.