Mike Henry will no longer voice Cleveland on 'Family Guy'

Lawrence Kim
June 29, 2020

Mike Henry has made a decision to step down from his role as Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, after voicing the beloved character for more than two decades.

In an announcement on Twitter, he wrote that, while he loves the character and considers it an "honour" to have played the role, "persons of colour should play characters of colour".

In addition to Family Guy, Henry also played the character on The Cleveland Show for four seasons from 2009 to 2013.

UPDATE: Fox on Friday released a statement announcing that The Simpsons "will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters".

Henry has been a mainstay of the series since its debut in 1999, serving as a writer and co-producer as well as voicing several other recurring characters like Herbert and Consuela.

All of this is a part of pop culture's recent racial reckoning, as increasingly creators and actors of color demand accountability from Hollywood and the entertainment industry. On Wednesday, Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate separately announced that they would no longer be voicing biracial cartoon characters, acknowledging white privilege had allowed them to take such roles. Slate played the mixed-raced Missy on Netflix's Big Mouth and Bell was voiced as Molly on Apple TV+ show Central Park. "In me playing 'Missy, ' I was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people".

The voice of Cleveland Brown is a unique one, and he's a character who appears much more frequently than any of the supporting characters of color on The Simpsons. "I have learned a lot from them".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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