Hot New Hip Hop reported today that Mike Henry, who voiced the role of Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, finally stepped down from the position following more than two decades. On the 26th of June, the Family Guy cast member shared that he was stepping down from the position because he wasn’t a person of color.
Henry wrote on his Twitter account that it was an “honor” to voice Cleveland Brown for twenty years. He stated that he loved the character, however, people of color should be given the chance to voice Cleveland instead of him.
Fans of Family Guy know that Henry has voiced Cleveland ever since it started back in the late 1990s. It later led to a spin-off show called, The Cleveland Show, which ran from 2009 until 2013.
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Actor #MikeHenry has decided to step down from his role as #ClevelandBrown on #FamilyGuy & #TheClevelandShow. ————————————— This comes after #JennySlate decided to end her role as #Missy on #BigMouth. She expressed in her Instagram post that it was time to help Black voices be heard! ————————————— Both of them feel that black characters should be played black people. ( 📸: @gettyimages , @theshaderoom )
Mike Henry also does the role of Consuela, on Family Guy, the Latina maid. As it was previously reported, many other white actors and actresses revealed they were stepping down from their roles due to their race.
For instance, Jenny Slate said she wouldn’t voice Big Mouth’s Missy anymore, and just a few hours after, Kristen Bell, from Central Park, stated she was going to step down from her role as Molly. The Simpsons have done the same thing, including Hank Azaria, who voiced Apu for years.
In fact, Hank Azaria’s depiction of Apu was the one that first started the controversy after a documentarian argued that the character was one of the most harmful TV depictions of Indians ever.
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.
Other stars such as Priyanka Chopra, claimed that Apu was the “bane of (her) existence,” because kids would always make fun of her using his classic line, “Thank you, come again!” One such show that hasn’t released any statement on voice acting changes is South Park.
South Park, for the most part, is voiced by the creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker.