Kristen Bell Quits Role, Apologizes for Voicing Non-White Character


Actress Kristen Bell stepped down from her role on Apple TV+’s animated comedy series “Central Park,” saying that voicing a non-white character “shows a lack of awareness of [her] pervasive privilege.”

Bell had been cast to voice Molly, a mixed-race character, on the show.

“This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Heres 1 of mine,” the actress tweeted.

“Casting a mixed race character w/a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race & Black American experience.”

“It was wrong,” she said, adding  that the “Central Park” team is working to make the situation right.

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“I am happy to relinquish this role to someone who can give a much more accurate portrayal and I will commit to learning, growing and doing my part for equality and inclusion,” Bell concluded.

“Central Park” has a two-season order at Apple TV+ and was co-created by “Bob’s Burgers” team Loren Bouchard and Nora Smith, as well as Josh Gad.

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In a statement, the show’s creative team said that Bell is talented and will still be part of the cast, but recasting Molly “is an opportunity to get representation right.”

“To cast a Black or mixed race actress and give Molly a voice that resonates with all of the nuance and experiences of the character as we’ve drawn her,” the statement read.

“We profoundly regret that we might have contributed to anyone’s feeling of exclusion or erasure.”

Season two of the series is currently being animated, but the creative team plans to recast and re-record Molly’s role, Deadline reported.

Bouchard had been criticized for casting Bell as Molly in January.

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At the time, he said Bell “needed to be Molly, she was always going to honor that character.”

“We couldn’t make Molly white or Kristen mixed race, so we had to go forward,” he added.

The show’s creators now say that “we can do better.”

“We’re committed to creating opportunities for people of color and Black people in all roles, on all our projects — behind the mic, in the writers room, in production, and in post-production.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith