*“Family Guy” voice actor Mike Henry is stepping down from his role as Cleveland Brown.
Henry announced his departure on social media on Friday, saying in a statement, “It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”
Henry has provided the voice of the character since the Fox animated series’ debut in 1999.
“The Cleveland Show” ran from 2009 to 2013, during which Henry provided the voice of Cleveland and his stepson, Rallo Tubbs. The comedian also voices Consuela the maid and several other minor characters. He served as co-creator and lead star on the spinoff for the series’ four seasons, The Blast reports.
OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Rihanna, Tina Lawson Slam Kentucky’s ‘Coon’ Attorney General Over Handling of Breonna Taylor Case
It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT
— Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) June 26, 2020
In related news, actor Wendell Pierce is petitioning to become the new voice of Cleveland Brown, SandraRose reports.
He took to social media to pitch himself, writing “Now that Mike Henry has consciously given up the role of Cleveland, I am publicly starting a campaign to voice the role myself on ‘The Cleveland Show.'”
Meanwhile, Fox renewed “Family Guy” last month for its 19th season.
“Moving forward, “The Simpsons” will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” the producers stated.
This comes five months after Hank Azaria announced he would no longer voice Apu.