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June 30, 2020

Mike Henry Who Voiced Black 'Family Guy' Character Steps down to Give Way to Black Actors

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Mike Henry, a white actor who voiced Cleveland Brown in the beloved animated sitcom "Family Guy," has decided to give up his role so that a person of color can have it.

Mike Henry will no longer be the voice of the Fox animated sitcom "Family Guy." The actor announced in a  tweet that he is exiting his role as the show's beloved character Cleveland Brown. 

"It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years."

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The actor revealed that he wants to give up the role since the character is of color and he believes that a person of color should play it. 

NOT THE ONLY ONE

Henry has been with the sitcom for over two decades since its first season aired in 1999. He is also the voice behind a Latina maid in the series named Consuela in addition to several other minor characters.

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Actress Kristen Bell is also set to be replaced as the voice of a biracial Black character Molly in "Central Park."

In the "Family Guy" spin-off series "The Cleveland Show," he voiced Cleveland as well as his stepson of color, Rallo Tubbs. The show ran from 2009 to 2013. 

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Henry's announcement came after Jenny Slate, the actress who voiced a biracial character Missy on "Big Mouth," said she will no longer be continuing her role.

Actress Kristen Bell is also set to be replaced as the voice of a biracial Black character Molly in "Central Park" as a part of the racial reckoning that is happening in Hollywood following the tragic death of George Floyd.

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WAVE OF CHANGE

In a lengthy Instagram post, the actress announced that she will no longer be playing the part, saying that casting a white actress for the role undermines the "specificity of the mixed-race and Black American experience."

Long before the case of George Floyd rattled the nation and made people speak out against racism in the form of protests, people had stood up against racial injustice in Hollywood. 

In January, Hank Azaria announced he will no longer be the voice of Apu, an Indian character, in "The Simpsons" after playing the role for decades. The 

His decision was a result of an uproar caused after comedian Hari Kondabolu's 2017 documentary "The Problem With Apu" highlighted how South Asians really felt about Apu's character being their only representative.

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