Mike Henry will no longer voice the character of Cleveland Brown on Fox’s long-running “Family Guy.”
Henry, who is white, has voiced the character since the show’s debut in 1999, as well as its short-lived spinoff, “The Cleveland Show,” which ran for four seasons. He also voiced another Black character, Rollo, on “Cleveland Show.”
“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,” Henry wrote on Twitter Friday.
Henry also voices other characters including Herbert, Bruce and the Latina maid Consuela, as well as numerous other minor roles. Kevin Michael Richardson voices the show’s other two prominent Black characters, Cleveland Jr. and Jerome.
Henry’s decision follows similar ones earlier this week. On Wednesday, Kristen Bell said she would no longer voice a mixed-race character on Apple’s upcoming “Central Park,” hours after “Big Mouth” star Jenny Slate announced that she would no longer voice the biracial character she had played on the Netflix show for the last three seasons.
In Bell’s case, she will remain with “Central Park” in a different role, while the show casts a Black or mixed-race actress to play Molly.
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. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT
— Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) June 26, 2020