Family Guy star Mike Henry steps down from role as Cleveland Brown

Chris Edwards

From Digital Spy

Family Guy star Mike Henry has announced he will no longer play the role of Cleveland Brown.

The voice actor took to Twitter on Friday (June 26) to say he was stepping away from the show, because "persons of colour should play characters of colour".

"It's been an honour to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years," he began the tweet. "I love this character, but persons of colour should play characters of colour. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role."

Photo credit: 20th Television - 20th Century Fox

Henry has played the character since the first season of Family Guy, which aired in 1999. In addition to Cleveland, he also voices the Latina maid Consuela, as well as various other minor characters on the animated show. It's currently unclear if he will also step away from any of those other roles.

In wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, Henry has become the latest white actor to announce he will no longer be voicing a person of colour in an animated series.

Earlier this week, Kristen Bell quit her role as mixed-race character Molly on the Apple TV+ show Central Park.

In a statement, Bell said: "This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Here is one of mine.

Photo credit: Kevin Winter - Getty Images

"Playing the character of Molly on Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed race character with a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race and Black American experience. It was wrong and we, on the Central Park team, are pledging to make it right.

"I am happy to relinquish this role to someone who can give a much more accurate portrayal and I will commit to learning, growing and doing my part for equality and inclusion."

Elsewhere, Big Mouth creators Nick Kroll, Jennifer Flackett, Andrew Goldberg and Mark Levin recently announced that the character of Missy will be recast with a Black actress, having previously been voiced by Jenny Slate.

For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.

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