Mike Henry, who has voiced the character of Cleveland Brown for twenty years on “Family Guy,” stated on Friday that he is stepping down from the role on the FOX animated series.
“It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years,” Henry, 54, wrote on Twitter.
He continued: “I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”
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Henry, who is a white man, has voiced the character for the reason that series debuted in 1999. He has additionally been the voice behind a Latin maid named Consuela on the series.
FOX had no remark when reached by Fox Information. Earlier on Friday, the community revealed that it’ll not have white actors voice characters of shade on “The Simpsons.”
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“Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white actors,” the community stated in an announcement.
In 2018 at Comedian-Con, Henry spoke to Fox Information about voicing Cleveland. “People are usually surprised,” he defined of peoples’ reactions on the time. “They usually go, ‘I didn’t know he was going to look like that.'”
Henry went on to say that “it wasn’t like I was cast as Cleveland, I created Cleveland.”
“You know, Cleveland is largely some weird part of me and I’ve been able to do it for [almost] 20 years now, and I think what you’re getting at is, ‘Does anyone get upset about it?’ Rarely,” Henry stated in 2018. “I mean, sometimes now with the climate out there of everything is very PC [politically correct], all I can say to that is I know where I’m coming from.”
“And on ‘The Cleveland Show’ if there was a joke I wasn’t sure about, I would defer to Sanaa [Lathan] or some of the other writers in the room who walk the walk and live the life because I don’t. And I’d say, ‘Can we do this? What’s up? You guys do this and tell me what I can do. I’m coming from a good place and I hope people aren’t upset,'” he stated on the time.
Alex Borstein, who voices Lois Griffin, instructed Fox Information on the time: “I just feel like you can feel when something is done from a place of love. From creating a person. Like, he’s not doing a voice — I feel like he’s making Cleveland.”
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Henry’s resolution comes after voice actors Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell — who’re white — lately pulled out of their respective roles to recast their biracial characters with somebody of shade. Slate, 38, performed the mixed-race Missy on Netflix’s “Big Mouth” and Bell, 39, voiced a biracial character named Molly on Apple TV Plus’s “Central Park.”
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Slate stated she initially reasoned that she might play her character as a result of Molly’s mom is Jewish and white, identical to her mother. However now, she understands that her preliminary ideas have been mistaken.
“I acknowledge how my original reasoning was flawed,” Slate stated. “That it existed as an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a system of societal white supremacy, and that in me playing Missy, I was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people.”
For Bell’s half, the announcement was made by a handful of the present’s producers, which acknowledged that “casting of the character of Molly is an opportunity to get representation right — to cast a Black or mixed-race actress and give Molly a voice that resonates with all of the nuance and experiences of the character as we’ve drawn her.”
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Bell additionally shared the assertion online, including one among her personal.
“This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Here’s 1 of mine. Playing the Molly in ‘Central Park’ shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed-race character w/a [sic] white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed-race & Black American experience,” she stated.
“The Good Place” star went on to clarify that she’s “happy to relinquish the role” and pledging to “commit to learning, growing and doing my part for equality and inclusion.”
Fox Information’ Nate Day and The Related Press contributed to this report