'Family Guy' Actor Mike Henry Steps Down as Cleveland

'Family Guy' Actor Mike Henry Steps Down as Cleveland

Family Guy's Mike Henry, a white voice actor who plays the Black character Cleveland Brown, has announced that he will be stepping down after 20 years in the role.

Henry wrote on Twitter that he will stop playing the show's main Black character because "persons of colour should play characters of colour". He's been voicing the character since 1999, including when the character got his own spin-off series.

Henry had also voiced the Latin maid named Consuela on the series.

Hank Azaria later said in interviews that while he initially rejected the idea of no longer voicing Apu, he eventually realized it was the right thing to do.


Back at the beginning of the year, Hank Azaria chose to vacate the role of convenience store owner Apu on The Simpsons after the character became embroiled in controversy for not just encouraging stereotypes of Indian characters, but for being voiced by an actor who was white. "I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color".

The Simpsons is syndicated in more than 100 countries.

The announcement comes in the wake of two other animated series recasting mixed-race who had been voiced by white actors: Jenny Slate on Big Mouth and Kristen Bell on Central Park. But now, she understands that her initial thoughts were wrong.

"I acknowledge how my original reasoning was flawed, that it existed as an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a societal system of white supremacy", Slate said in an Instagram post this week.

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