Following the news of Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell stepping down from voicing biracial animated characters, now Mike Henry is doing the same for a black character on Family Guy.
In a post on his Twitter, Henry (who played Cleveland on both this show and also the spin-off The Cleveland Show) announced that he will be leaving the show so that a black actor can eventually voice the part:
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.
There’s no precise word as to when the new Cleveland will take over the part, or who that actor will be. Family Guy, like many other animated shows, can still continue work through much of this current health crisis. New episodes of the show (which remains one of the most-popular animated series of all time) are expected back this fall.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement today The Simpsons and Fox noted that the show “will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.” That is a change from in the past, with the most notable example being Hank Azaria voicing Apu for so many years. That was a subject debated in the media over the past couple of years. This is a pattern that we assume new animated shows will continue to follow in the years to come; the medium is still enormously popular, with Hulu and Netflix increasingly adding to the overall roster.
What do you think about Mike Henry leaving Family Guy, and the Cleveland role for so many years?
Meanwhile, what do you also think about the decision from The Simpsons? Be sure to share right now in the comments below, and also stick around for some other news when it comes to the show. (Photo: Fox.)