White Actors Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate Step Down From Voicing POC Characters

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Following the conversation about racial imbalance and cultural appropriation, actors Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate have announced they would no longer voice POC characters in animated shows. 

Slate, a white Jewish woman, was the one lending her voice to Missy Foreman-Greenwald, a half-black schoolgirl and one of the central figures in Big Mouth, an Emmy-nominated animated sitcom about confusions of puberty. Since the character’s mother was a white Jewish woman herself, Slate had admittedly decided she could be cast as Missy, not seeing flaws in that decision. She now says that she will step down from her position and let a Black actress take over. Nick Kroll, the showrunner, supported Slate’s decision and apologized for casting a white person in the first place. 

Bell, a white Michigan native, was voicing Molly Tillerman, the half-black main character in Central Park, the animated Apple TV+ musical. In her Instagram-published statement, the actress expressed “profound regret” in taking that part. She added that she will remain involved in the show, but as a different, unspecified character.

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