Arif Zahir Replaces Mike Henry as Cleveland Brown on Family Guy

Brenda Watkins
September 26, 2020

On Friday, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and showrunners Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin announced on Twitter that voice actor and YouTube star Arif Zahir will be replacing Mike Henry as Cleveland Brown on the Fox show starting with the 2021-2022 season. 'When I learned I would get to take over the role?

Zahir was roped into the show as the flawless voice behind Cleaveland after he sold his skills to Henry in June where he made a TikTok video offering up his services and tagging Henry after it has been announced that Mike Henry was leaving the show.

"Firstly, I'm eternally grateful to have received this once in a lifetime opportunity", he said. "I look forward to getting to know Arif and working with him to make sure Cleveland stays every bit as awesome as he has always been".

"After I heard that Mike Henry was stepping down from the function of Cleveland Brown - my favourite cartoon character of all time - I used to be shocked and saddened, assuming we'd by no means see him once more", Zahir mentioned.

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"To all the people who are anxious that I am going to stray too away from Mike's performance I promise that is not the case", he says in his own voice. Henry, who is white, stepped down from the role back in June, noting, "I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color". Overabundant gratitude. To Mike, you created something truly special and I promise I will do my absolute best to honors your legacy.

Zahir has gained millions of views on his channel for impersonating Cleveland, along with many others. Zahir then shifts into character and says: "Because I have studied Mike". Mike Henry formerly voiced the fan-favorite character, who even had a short-lived spin-off series.

Henry appeared pleased with his replacement, as he welcomed Zahir, who is repped by CAA, to the "Family Guy team" and praised his "obvious" vocal talent and understanding of Cleveland Brown. "And to the thousands and thousands of followers who love this present, I promise to not allow you to down".

News of Zahir's casting comes just a day after it was announced that The Simpsons had found a new actor to voice Carl Carlson. The Simpsons doesn't longer use white celebrities to voice jelqing personalities. Jenny Slate announced in June that she was quitting her role as half-Black, half-Jewish Missy Foreman-Greenwald on Netflix's Big Mouth.

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