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

Amy Sussman  Getty Images

Amy Sussman Getty Images

The Simpsons announcement comes just hours after white actor Mike Henry released a statement to say he would be stepping down from his role of Cleveland Brown in Family Guy.

"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", he tweeted on Friday. "Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role", Henry wrote on Twitter.

"The Simpsons" will no longer use white actors to voice non-white characters, according to the show's producers.

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The issue of White actors voicing characters of color in animated series is not new.

The Simpsons on Fox will no longer allow white actors to voice non-white roles - a decision that is likely to impact a range of beloved supporting characters on the long-running animated series including Dr. Julius Hibbert, Carl Carlson, Judge Roy Snyder, and the Bumblebee Man.

Earlier this year, Azaria stepped down from his Simpsons role as Kwik-E mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon after years of controversy surrounding the character.

Apu, an Indian character in "The Simpsons", has been the source of controversy for years over its racial stereotyping.

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Ms Bell, who provided the voice of Molly, a mixed-race child, in the cartoon series Central Park, said doing so displayed "a lack of awareness". Henry also co-created the spinoff series The Cleveland Show, which ran for four seasons from 2009 to 2013.

It looks like The Simpsons has finally chose to do the right thing.

Fox Network's statement on Friday did not say whether Apu or other characters would continue to feature in the show.

The decision to remove Azaria from voicing Apu was mutual, the actor said, according to /Film. "I hope that I can actively and meaningfully contribute to ending this and other kinds of systemic oppression, and in a way that lessens this burden for People of Color, who for far too long have been tasked with dismantling it themselves".

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