"In hindsight, I wish that I didn't voice the character of Diane Nguyen," Brie wrote on Instagram of the Vietnamese-American role she portrayed on the Netflix animated series that ended its six-season run earlier this year. “I now understand that people of color should always voice people of color,” Brie added. “We missed a great opportunity to represent the Vietnamese-American community accurately and respectfully, and for that I am truly sorry. I applaud all those who stepped away from their voiceover roles in recent days. I have learned a lot from them." Brie joins fellow white actors Mike Henry of Family Guy, Jenny Slate of Big Mouth and Kristen Bell of Central Park in expressing regret this week over voicing minority cartoon characters amid the racial reckoning brought on by Black Lives Matter protests. Brie's post comes days after BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg reiterated his regret in casting a white actress as Diane Nguyen. "We should have hired a Vietnamese writer, and a Vietnamese actress to play Diane - or if not that, changed the character to match who we did hire," he tweeted. In February, Vietnamese-American writer Thu-Huong Ha called having a white actress voice Diane Nguyen a critical mistake, adding: "Diane probably should have been white. But several seasons in, BoJack Horseman couldn’t undo this clumsily written ethnic designation, and Bob-Waksberg couldn’t, or wouldn’t, replace Brie as her voice. But the way he tried to deal with it, however imperfectly, made the show better. On screen, it brought to life Diane’s social isolation. But it also highlighted the way Asian Americans often do move in society as white, and raised questions about how characters of color are expected to represent their groups. And most importantly, it taught a visible white male producer an essential lesson: that a character may choose to ignore their identity, but its creators can’t."
TOPICS: Alison Brie, Netflix, BoJack Horseman, George Floyd, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Asian Americans and TV, Blackface, Black Lives Matter