He is not a black person.
Photo: Getty Images
Well, it certainly has been a good day for white actresses voicing black characters in animated series, of which surprisingly there are more than one. On Wednesday June 24, white comedian Jenny Slate visited Instagram to announce that she would no longer give voice to Missy, a black character, in the Netflix animated comedy series. Big Mouth because “black characters in an animated show should be played by black people. ” Hours (and probably hundreds of frantic texts) later, the creative team behind Apple TV + Central Park announced that white actress Kristen Bell would no longer give voice to Molly, a black character from the animated comedy series. Two animated black characters named Molly and Missy voiced by white actresses in 2020? Amazing cinematic parallels there, without a doubt The Declaration of Central Park Creators Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad, Nora Smith, Halsted Sullivan, and Sanjay Shah say the following:
“Kristen Bell is an extraordinarily talented actress who joined the cast of Central Park from almost the first day of the show’s development, even before there was a character for her, and has since presented a fun, heartfelt, and beautiful performance.
But upon reflection, Kristen, along with the entire creative team, acknowledges that Molly’s character cast is an opportunity to get a proper portrayal: choosing a black or mixed-race actress and giving Molly a voice that resonates with everyone. the nuances. and experiences of the character as we have drawn it. Kristen will continue to be part of the heart of the show in a new role, but we’ll find a new actress to lend her voice to Molly.
We deeply regret having contributed to the feeling of exclusion or deletion of any person.
Black people and people of color have worked and will continue to work in Central Park, but we can do better. We are committed to creating opportunities for people of color and blacks in all roles, in all of our projects – behind the microphone, in the writers’ room, in production, and in post-production. The animation will be stronger by having as many voices, experiences and perspectives as we can bring to the industry. Our store and program will be better at respecting the nuances and complexity around the theme of representation and trying to get it right. “
While Central Park Vowing to reverse this casting decision, members of the creative team defended the decision to choose Bell as a black character in January this year. At a TCA panel in January 2020, creator Loren Bouchard said, “Kristen needed to be Molly, as if we couldn’t make her Molly. But then we couldn’t make Molly white and we couldn’t make Kristen mixed race, so we had to move on. ” By “moving forward,” did Bouchard mean that he would not address the problem until a similar situation happened to another animated series and everything became optically too big to ignore? Because this is how it looks. Online campaigns have already started popping up to suggest to black actresses to replace both Slate and Bell. Black comedy actresses who identify women start practicing your character’s voice because it’s your time.