Mike Henry, the white voice actor who has voiced Black character Cleveland Brown since 1999 on Family Guy and on the spinoff The Cleveland Show, said, “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.”
In a brief statement to BuzzFeed News, representatives for The Simpsons said, “Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.”
The Simpsons has been slowly moving in this direction. Last year, following a documentary about Indian character Apu and the stereotypes he embodies, white actor Hank Azaria announced he would no longer voice the character. Azaria has also voiced Black characters on the show, including Dr. Julius Hibbert and Carl Carlson.
Neither show commented on the future of the affected characters or who would voice them.
Image: Fox Broadcasting Company