Mike Henry, who has been voicing Cleveland Brown, an iconic black male character in Seth MacFarlane's "Family Guy" and "The Cleveland Show" for two decades, announced he is resigning, as the role has to be handed to a non-white person.
It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT— Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) June 26, 2020
The statement has already caused a mass backlash, as numerous fans of the shows - including African Americans -told the actor they had no problem with him voicing the black character at all.
Hey I (obviously a black man) have enjoyed your performances throughout your 20 years. Voices are voices. There are no colors assigned to them. As a VA your job is to bring your characters to life and you have done that magnificently.— Ellis Hackett Jr. (@EllisHackettJr) June 26, 2020
— MechaRandom42,That's Queen video slinger to you 😉 (@RandomMnky) June 26, 2020
Some people also expressed their disappointment and stressed that the actor had made a mistake by joining the recent trend in the industry.
OK, now say "white people should play white characters"... pic.twitter.com/S9zD5cRUbd— S T E V E N - The Fandom Menace Illustrator™ (@StevenWayneArt) June 27, 2020
— Peter Griffin Burner (@PeterGriffinAcc) June 26, 2020
— Idris 🇬🇧🇬🇭🏳️🌈🏴☠️ (@idris_elphaba) June 26, 2020
At the same time, numerous Twitterians used it as yet another opportunity to launch their meme machine, showing how absurd the situation is.
I expect Joe to be voiced by a paraplegic as well pic.twitter.com/ITQctMIdDS— GT:TurboXS🧢 (@RallyTurbo) June 26, 2020
— Pat Tillman was murdered by his own country (@TheEpicDept) June 26, 2020
— MAL (@MAL_IS_BAD_) June 27, 2020