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‘Central Park’ Creator Explains Why He Casts Men to Voice Animated Female Roles

TCA 2020: ”Animation just makes you want to take this voice and have it come out of this face,“ Loren Bouchard says

Loren Bouchard, best known for creating Fox’s animated “Bob’s Burgers,” has a new cartoon sitcom coming to Apple TV+ called “Central Park” that once again casts men to voice female roles. During the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday, he explained his reasoning.

As with “Bob’s Burgers,” which has men voice the roles of both Linda and Tina Belcher, “Central Park” features Daveed Diggs and Stanley Tucci voicing female roles, with Diggs as the character of Helen and Tucci as Bitsy Brandenham. Bouchard admitted he’s aware of the optics.

“Animation just makes you want to take this voice and have it come out of this face. It’s so delicious that I can never stop myself. Hopefully there’s something about it that makes sense,” he said during the show’s panel. “Daveed playing Helen, we knew it early on that is was gonna be so fun to do it. So we couldn’t look away once you imagine that.”

“Here I am, yet again, taking away two roles for women. It’s something that I have on my mind all the time to try and keep balancing things out,” he continued. “Obviously on ‘Central Park,’ we also have Kristin Bell playing a mixed race girl and we’re always trying to both honor the urge to fool around and have fun in animation and also just balance that s— out. Get women of color in the cast and the writers room. Kristin needed to be Molly… But then you couldn’t make Molly White, and you couldn’t make Kristin mixed race. So we just had to go forward.”

“Central Park” stars the three mentioned above, along with Josh Gad, Tituss Burgess and Kathryn Hahn. The animated musical comedy centers on the Tillermans, a family that lives in Central Park. Owen, the park manager, and Paige, his journalist wife, raise their kids Molly and Cole in the world’s most famous park, while fending off hotel heiress Bitsy Brandenham and her long suffering assistant Helen, who would love nothing more than to turn the park into condos.