Warner Brothers altered the video game “MultiVersus” last week to prevent the Scooby Doo character Velma from calling the police.
For nearly 50 years, the Scooby Doo franchise has shown The Mystery Inc. gang solving crimes and alerting police to the presence of potential criminals. But critics have recently labeled Velma a “Karen” for doing precisely what had seemed innocent enough before, flashing a “wanted” poster and calling the cops on characters from across the Warner Bros. Discovery catalog.
“Instead of calling the police, Velma now solves the mystery and calls the Mystery Inc. gang and the Mystery Machine to take the bad guys away,” Warner Brothers games announced last week.
One petition that drew a bare 34 signatures lambasted Warner Brothers, stating, “Although historically, the Scooby Doo gang has (but not always) worked with the police to catch the suspect within the cartoons, this cop car is not necessary in the game nor does it add meaning to her moveset. For decades, and especially in recent times, Black & Indigenous people of color around the world have suffered under police brutality and this cop car is ignoring the problem of police brutality in this day in age.”
“We the players of MultiVersus demand the devs from Player First Games to please reconsider the ultimate art of the cop car chase to be replaced by the Mystery Machine van chase that Velma and her friends use to race around to catch the suspects in the cartoon,” the petition continues.
In August, one YouTuber tweeted, “I am enjoying Velma in Multiversus but maining a character who’s special move is calling the police on her enemies definitely don’t sit right with me as a black man lol,” adding, “’Get em sheriff!’ that shit kills me Karen ultimate.”
"Get em sheriff!" 💀 that shit kills me
— he who vibes (@NgObscure) August 1, 2022
“A predominant feature of the ‘Karen’ stereotype is that they weaponise their relative privilege against people of colour — for example, when making police complaints against black people for minor or even — in numerous cases — fictitious infringements,” the BBC explains.
According to VentureBeat, “MultiVersus,” which was introduced in July, garnered over 20 million users in the first month it was available.