Jenny Slate has quit cult animated show Big Mouth because her character is supposed to be biracial.
The 38-year-old has announced she’s stepping down from the role of Missy on the hit Netflix series, because a black actress should voice the part.
“At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it was permissible for me to play Missy because her mom is Jewish and white – as am I. But Missy is also Black and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people,” Slate said in a statement, explaining she felt she was “engaging in an act of erasure of Black people” by playing her.
“Ending my portrayal of Missy is one step in a life-long process of uncovering the racism in my actions,” she adds.
The show’s creators have accepted Jenny’s resignation while thanking her for creating “an inspiring, compassionate and very human character”.
“We look forward to being able to explore Missy’s story with even greater authenticity to come,” a statement reads.
Meanwhile, the producers of another new animated show, Central Park, have announced Frozen star Kristen Bell will no longer voice the character Molly, who is mixed-race, on the Apple TV+ comedy series.
“Kristen Bell is an extraordinarily talented actress, who joined the cast of Central Park from nearly the first day of the show’s development – before there was even a character for her to play – and she has since delivered a funny, heartfelt, and beautiful performance,” a statement from the show’s creative team reads, “but after reflection, Kristen, along with the entire creative team, recognizes that the casting of the character of Molly is an opportunity to get representation right – to cast a Black or mixed-race actress and give Molly a voice that resonates with all of the nuance and experiences of the character as we’ve drawn her.”
Bell will continue to be a part of the show in a new role, while the producers are looking for a new actress to lend her voice to the role of Molly. She will reportedly re-record dialogue Bell has already recorded for season two.