Actress and comedian Jenny Slate announced she will know longer voice the character of Missy Foreman-Greenwald, a young mixed-race girl on Netflix’s Big Mouth.
What We Know:
- Slate explained her resignation from the show through an Instagram post on Wednesday. “At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it was permissible for me to play ‘Missy’ because her mom is Jewish and White – as I am. But ‘Missy is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people,” said Slate in the Instagram post. Slate said that she was “engaging in an act of erasure of Black people” by playing a Black character as a white woman.
- Comedian Nick Kroll created Big Mouth and the show has three seasons under its belt. Aside from Slate, the all-star cast includes Maya Rudolph, Jordan Peele, John Mulaney, and Fred Armisen. Slate has already recorded for season four, and Netflix will air the season with her included. The series will later recast the role with a Black voice actor.
- Slate ended her statement with “I am so very sorry. Black voices must be heard. Black Lives matter.”
- The Black Lives Matter movement is at the forefront of sweeping changes occurring in the media landscape. Many are calling on media companies to take more action against racism and exclusion within the industry. Apple TV Plus also announced on Wednesday that Kristen Bell would no longer be voicing Molly Tillerman, a mixed-race character on Central Park. In addition, Apple TV Plus will recast the role with a Black or mixed-race actress and Bell will take on a new role.
Big Mouth and Central Park are the latest shows to address how they portray non-white characters. 30 Rock and Scrubs have pulled episodes from streaming services featuring characters in blackface.