Continuing a recent pattern of white actors walking away from roles voicing Black or mixed-race characters, Mike Henry announced Friday he will no longer lend his voice to Cleveland Brown on the long- running Fox animated series “Family Guy.”
“It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on `Family Guy’ for 20 years,” Henry wrote on his Twitter page. “I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”
There was no immediate word on who might fill the role.
Actresses Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell recently announced they would no longer voice mixed-race characters on Netflix’s “Big Mouth” and Apple’s “Central Park,” respectively.
“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane did not immediately comment on Henry’s decision, but MacFarlane retweeted Henry’s announcement.
In the early days of “Family Guy,” series regular Alex Borstein provided the voice of Cleveland Brown’s wife, Loretta, on the series. Loretta Brown was ultimately killed off the series, reportedly because Borstein complained about the difficulty of the character’s gravelly voice.