Family Guy's Cleveland Actor Steps Down From The Role
Mike Henry says, "I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color."
The actor who plays the Black character Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, Mike Henry, has announced he's stepping down from voicing the role on Fox's long-running animated show. Writing on Twitter, Henry--who is white--said, "I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color."
Henry also voices the Latina maid Consuela on Family Guy. On the spin-off program The Cleveland Show, Henry voices Cleveland and his Black stepson Rallo Tubbs. Since this announcement was just made, there is no word on how things might move forward and if Fox will recast the role on Family Guy. The Cleveland Show was canceled in 2013.
It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT— Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) June 26, 2020
Henry is just the latest big-name white actor to step down from voicing a character of color on an animated TV show. The Simpsons veteran Hank Azaria will no longer voice Apu, Carl, and Akira, among other non-white characters. The Simpsons producers have committed to wider changes to their casting. In the future, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voicing non-white characters.
Additionally, actress Jenny Slate has announced she will no longer voice the young Black girl Missy on Netflix's Big Mouth. The part will be recast with a Black actor.
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