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Jenny Slate explains how "I’ve learned how I’ve messed up" when it came to justifying voicing Big Mouth's Missy

  • "For a while I had thought, I don’t think I should play Missy," she said on the Good One podcast in discussing stepping down from her Big Mouth role. "But the reasoning that seemed okay to me at the time, which I now realize was not, was that I’m one half of the character. Which is basically the same thing as being 'color-blind.' I understood that as racist reasoning, and of course, a white person that thinks of themselves as progressive is going to be totally nauseated by the fact that they might have done something racist. But white people do racist things directly, even though they might have been unconscious or not on purpose. As Robin DiAngelo says, there is a difference between what you intended and what your impact was. I think the final straw for me was that one of the writers on Big Mouth posted a video about how to be an effective ally versus a good ally, and asked that people make a list of what three things they could do. I was like, This is really clear. We’re acting like a biracial actress doesn’t exist. I don’t know who will take that part, but she does exist and she’ll be wonderful, and it’s just not my part. It’s not my thing to take. You can clearly see that some people don’t understand, but it doesn’t matter to me. There was the full support of everyone I work with. It’s hard, obviously, to see that you’ve missed a lot and to see that you’re part of a problem. And I am; I still am. What was important to me was to try to word my statement in a way that was clear and not focusing on myself, and focusing on the issue, and that was unemotional and not asking for anything except for to be able to take a moment of accountability."

    TOPICS: Jenny Slate, Netflix, Big Mouth, George Floyd, African Americans and TV, Black Lives Matter