The character of Cleveland Brown, is one of very few in the Family Guy universe – began as a recurring role when the show started in 1999.
As the focus shifted increasingly to Peter Griffin’s neighbors, however, Cleveland became a main character and has remained as such ever since. However, he did take a break for his own spinoff, The Cleveland Show, which aired on Fox from 2009 to 2013.
Mike Henry, who voices the character, also voices Herbert and Consuela on Family Guy, among other various characters to pop up in Quahog.
Henry is Stepping Down
However, Cleveland specifically will soon be voiced by another actor. Henry took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to announce his resignation from the role.
Henry professed a deep love for the character, but took a nod from the other similar moves that have come on animated programs this week, stating that “persons of color should play characters of color.”
This has the appearance of being a coordinated effort by Fox to end the whitewashing of their animated programming, with The Simpsons announcing around the same time they would no longer have white actors play non-white roles.
Henry’s tweet is currently the only public statement about Cleveland, so it’s unclear where the character and show go from here. His tweet implies he believes the role should be recast with a Black actor.
It’s also possible the show – set to start its 19th season in the fall – could stop utilizing the character, much like when The Simpsons essentially stopped featuring Apu, although that decision would likely generate further controversy.
So, what do you all think about this guys?