Jenny Slate quits the role of ‘Big Mouth’, says black characters ‘should be played by black people’

The actress, who has played the character since the Netflix show first aired in 2017, explained her departure in an Instagram post on Wednesday, saying, “Black characters on an animated show should be played by black people.”

In the open letter, Slate told his 894,000 followers that his original reasoning for accepting the voiceover job was “flawed” and “an example of white privilege,” but now he realized that continuing to voice the character. it would mean that he was “participating in an act of erasing blacks.”

“At the beginning of the show, I reasoned to myself that it was permissible for me to play ‘Missy’ because her mother is Jewish and white, like me. But ‘Missy’ is also black and black characters in an animated show. It should be played by blacks. “

The 38-year-old star, who also appeared in “Parks and Recreation” and in the movie “Obvious Child,” went on to say that “ending my portrayal of ‘Missy’ is a step in a lifelong process to uncover racism. in my actions. “

Slate acknowledged that although she “cannot change the past,” it was her duty to participate in “significant anti-racist actions.”

Slate signed the message promising to be more “thoughtful about the messages in my work” and apologized to those whom he had hurt.

“I’m so sorry. Black voices must be heard. Black Lives Matter,” he added.

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In a joint statement posted on Twitter, “Big Mouth” creators Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett said they supported Slate’s decision and planned to replay the role with a black actor.

“We sincerely apologize and regret our original decision to choose a white actor to express a biracial character,” they wrote. “We made a mistake, we took our privilege for granted, and we are working hard to advance better.”

They added, “They are proud of the representation Missy has offered to sensitive, cerebral women of color, and we plan to continue that representation.”

Slate is the last star to use her platform to show her support for the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd.