“Family Guy” voice actor Mike Henry says he “resigns” from Cleveland Brown role in animated series

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Mike Henry, who voiced the character of Cleveland Brown for two decades in “Family Guy,” said Friday that he was leaving his role in the animated series FOX.

“It has been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years,” wrote Henry, 54, on Twitter.

He continued, “I love this character, but people of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will leave the role. ”

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Henry, who is a white man, has voiced the character since the series began in 1999. He has also been the voice behind a Latin maid named Consuela on the series.

FOX made no comments when he was joined by Fox News. Earlier today, the network revealed that there will be no more white actor voices of color on “The Simpsons”.

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“To move forward, the Simpsons will no longer have voices from non-white white actors,” the network said in a statement.

File – In this archive photo from September 23, 2010, the actor and co-creator of the program Mike Henry appears with panels for his animated series “The Cleveland Show” during a roundtable at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California.
(Photo AP / Dan Steinberg, file)

In 2018, at Comic-Con, Henry spoke to Fox News about the Cleveland expression. “People are generally surprised,” he said at the time about people’s reactions. “Usually they say,” I didn’t know it was going to look like this. “”

Henry went on to say, “It wasn’t like I was thrown out as Cleveland, I created Cleveland.”

“You know, Cleveland is largely a weird part of me and I was able to do it for [almost] 20 years now, and I think you mean, “Is anyone upset about this? “Rarely,” said Henry in 2018. “I mean, sometimes now, with the climate, everything is very PC [politically correct], all I can say is that I know where I come from. ”

“And on” The Cleveland Show “if there was a joke I wasn’t sure about, I would defer to Sanaa [Lathan] or some of the other writers in the room who walk and live life because I don’t. And I would say, “Can we do this? What’s up? You do this and tell me what I can do. I come from a good place and I hope people are not angry, “he said at the time.

Alex Borstein, who voices Lois Griffin, told Fox News at the time: “I just feel like you can feel when something is done from a place of love. To create a person. For example, he doesn’t make a voice – I feel like he does Cleveland. ”

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Henry’s decision comes after voice actors Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell – who are white – recently left their respective roles to recast their biracial characters with someone of color. Slate, 38, played the mixed race Missy on “Big Mouth” on Netflix and Bell, 39, voiced a biracial character named Molly on “Central Park” on Apple TV Plus.

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Slate said she first thought she could play her character because Molly’s mother is Jewish and white, just like her mom. But now she understands that her initial thoughts were wrong.

In this image published by Fox, animated characters, from left to right, Peter Griffin, Glenn Quagmire, both voiced by Seth MacFarlane, Cleveland Brown, voiced by Mike Henry and Joe Swanson, voiced by Patrick Warburton from the “Family Guy” series “
(Fox via AP)

“I recognize how flawed my original reasoning was,” said Slate. “That there existed as an example of white privilege and unjust compensation made in a system of white supremacy of society, and that in me, playing Missy, I was carrying out an act of obliteration of the black people. ”

For Bell’s part, the announcement was made by a handful of producers on the show, who said that “the cast of the character of Molly is an opportunity to get a good performance – to cast a black or mixed-race actress and give Molly a voice that resonates with all the nuances and experiences of the character that we drew. ”

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Bell also shared the statement online, adding one of its own.

“It is time to recognize our acts of complicity. Here’s one of mine. Playing Molly in ‘Central Park’ shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Launch a Métis character with [sic] the white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race and black American experience, “she said.

The star of “The Good Place” went on to explain that she was “happy to give up this role” and that she was committed to “committing to learn, grow and do my part for equality and inclusion ”.

Fox News Nate Day and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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