“It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years,” Henry tweeted on Friday. “I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”
Henry, who is not Black, has voiced Cleveland, who is Black, since the character was introduced in Family Guy‘s 1999 series premiere. He also headlined The Cleveland Show for four seasons (2009–2013) on Fox.
Cleveland now joins a growing list of high-profile animated characters that have been recast this week. Jenny Slate announced on Wednesday that she will no longer voice biracial tween Missy on Netflix’s Big Mouth, while Kristen Bell is also being recast as the voice of a young biracial character on Apple TV+’s Central Park.
See Henry’s announcement in full below:
UPDATE: Fox on Friday released a statement announcing that The Simpsons “will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.”