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

Brenda Watkins
June 29, 2020

White actor Mike Henry has announced he will no longer voice the black character of Cleveland on the animated TV show, Family Guy.

In an announcement on Twitter, he wrote that, while he loves the character and considers it an "honour" to have played the role, "persons of colour should play characters of colour".

The 54-year-old voice actor, who is a white man, has voiced the character since the series' debut in 1999.

Cleveland now joins a growing list of high-profile animated characters that have been recast this week.

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Hank Azaria later said in interviews that while he initially rejected the idea of no longer voicing Apu, he eventually realized it was the right thing to do. It's not clear how soon the show might find replacement actors to voice those characters, especially since they don't appear very often.

It's a little frustrating that it took this long for such a change to happen, especially since it means whoever replaces Henry will never have a chance to lead their own show as Cleveland Brown.

Family Guy actor Mike Henry, who played Family Guy's protagonist Cleveland Brown, says he is stepping down since 'persons of colour should play characters of colour'.

Similar decisions were made by actresses Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell earlier this week, as they both withdrew from playing mixed race characters on their respective series, Big Mouth and Central Park. But since Family Guy isn't going anywhere anytime soon, the role will be a good opportunity for whoever gets the part.

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