Family Guy: Voice Actor for Cleveland Leaving the Role
A big change is coming to Family Guy in the show’s 19th season, as the voice actor for Cleveland, Mike Henry, has announced he will be leaving the role.
Henry took to Twitter to announce his departure from the character, saying: “I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”
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
Henry has been a part of the show since the beginning, serving as a writer, co-producer, and voice actor for the show. Along with Cleveland, he voiced Herbert and Consuela. He also helped create the spin-off, The Cleveland Show, which ran for four seasons from 2009 to 2013. Cleveland has been a popular character in Family Guy for years due to his soft-spoken nature and hilarious personality.
Another popular Fox show, The Simpsons, is getting a similar change with Hank Azaria stepping down from playing Apu, a change which was announced earlier this year.
This change in voice actors comes as more scrutiny is being given to animated projects that feature white actors voicing characters of color.
It is uncertain when the change to Cleveland will come, as the show’s long production lead time means that Henry has probably already voiced some lines for the season. We also don’t know who will be replacing Henry or how far along the casting process they are. The lines could be completely re-recorded for the season.
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