27/06/2020 8:32 PM AEST

Family Guy Actor Mike Henry Steps Down From Cleveland Brown Voice Role

He said in a statement that “persons of colour should play characters of colour”.

Family Guy cast member Mike Henry has announced he will no longer voice the character of Cleveland Brown on the animated series. 

The actor, who is white, said in a statement that “persons of colour should play characters of colour”. 

Mike has voiced Cleveland on Family Guy and spin-off series The Cleveland show since 1999.

He said on Twitter: “It’s been an honour to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of colour should play characters of colour. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”

Voice actor Mike Henry 

His announcement came as The Simpsons also issued a statement confirming that it would “no longer have white actors voice non-white characters” moving forward. 

The Simpsons had faced criticism for having Hank Azaria, who is white, voicing Indian shopkeeper Apu.

The actor confirmed in January he would no longer perform the role.

Hank Azaria announced he would no longer voice Apu in January

White actor Harry Shearer originally voiced some Black characters on The Simpsons, including Dr. Hibbert.  

Variety reported that Black actor Kevin Michael Richardson has voiced many of the show’s Black characters in recent seasons.

Earlier this week, actor Jenny Slate has said she will no longer voice Missy in the animated series Big Mouth.

She said that her playing the role was “engaging in an act of erasure of Black people”, with a spokesperson adding that Missy will be recast.

Frozen star Kristen Bell also announced she would also stop voicing multiracial character Molly in Apple TV+ comedy Central Park.

Kristen said playing the character “shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege”, with bosses confirming they are to recast the role.