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Netflix's Big Mouth, Apple TV Plus' Central Park will recast biracial characters

Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell will no longer voice their characters.

Scene from Netflix show Big Mouth

Jenny Slate has decided to not voice a Black character named Missy on Big Mouth.


Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell will no longer voice animated characters who are people of color.

Slate does the voice for a character named Missy on Netflix's animated show Big Mouth, and Bell voices a character named Molly on the Apple TV Plus show Central Park. Both characters are written as having a white parent.

In a post on Instagram Wednesday, Slate said she initially told herself that voicing the character, Missy, was OK because Missy's mother is white and Jewish, as is Slate. But ultimately, she said, Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.

"I acknowledge how my original reasoning was flawed, that it existed as an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a system of societal white supremacy and that in my playing Missy, I was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people." 

Kristen Bell apologized on Instagram for "contributing to anyone's feeling of exclusion or erasure." 

Big Mouth, which centers on the comical horrors of puberty, is in its third season on Netflix. Slate has already finished recording the show's fourth season. Central Park is a musical in its first season on Apple TV Plus.

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.

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