Comedian Ayo Edebiri will be the one reading Nathan Fillion fan fiction when Big Mouth returns: The animated Netflix comedy has cast Edebiri as Missy Foreman-Greenwald, replacing previous voice actress Jenny Slate.
Though Slate will voice Missy for much of the upcoming fourth season, Edebiri takes over the role in the penultimate Season 4 episode. She will also serve as a writer on the show, beginning with Season 5. (Big Mouth was previously renewed for Seasons 4, 5 and 6 at the streamer.)
“The transition is a nice farewell to Jenny in that moment, too, in a way,” Edebiri told Variety of the scene when her stint as Missy begins. “The voice I found is also because of the work Jenny did, too.”
“I was definitely a very uncomfortable child, so I think the show speaks to that and a lot of those feelings, which still resonate with me as an adult,” she continued. “I was a true dork. So I don’t think I have to go too far to connect with Missy.”
Edebiri’s casting comes two months after Slate stepped down from the role amid Black Lives Matter protests and discussions of Black representation in Hollywood. Though Slate said she initially reasoned that “it was permissible for me to play Missy because her mom is Jewish and white — as am I,” she ultimately felt that “Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.”
And Slate is just one of several white actors to step down from voicing Black characters. Kristen Bell similarly left the Central Park role of Molly, who is biracial, and was replaced by The Umbrella Academy‘s Emmy Raver-Lampman. Family Guy‘s Mike Henry has stopped voicing Cleveland Brown, while Fox announced that The Simpsons “will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.”
Edebiri is best known for her work as a stand-up comedian, including performances on Comedy Central. She also served as a writer on the one-and-done NBC comedy Sunnyside, and she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Iconography.
Big Mouth will return for Season 4 sometime this fall.