Henry announced on Twitter Friday afternoon he is leaving the role of Cleveland Brown that he's played since Family Guy's first season in 1999. "It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years," Henry tweeted. "I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role." Fox has yet to comment, but Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane retweeted Henry's tweet. Henry has also voiced Latina maid Consuela on Family Guy, as well as Cleveland's Black stepson Rallo Tubbs on spinoff The Cleveland Show, which aired from 2009 to 2013. Henry becomes the latest white actor to step down from voicing a Black animated character this week, following Big Mouth's Jenny Slate and Central Park's Kristen Bell, amid the racial reckoning inspired by the police killing of George Floyd. Henry finds himself in a similar situation as Hank Azaria, who also voiced an animated minority character on Fox for decades. In January, Azaria stepped down from playing Apu on The Simpsons.
TOPICS: Family Guy, FOX, Big Mouth, Central Park, The Cleveland Show, The Simpsons, George Floyd, Hank Azaria, Jenny Slate, Kristen Bell, Mike Henry, Seth MacFarlane, African Americans and TV, Black Lives Matter