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.
“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.
It was wrong and we, on the Central Park team, are pledging to make it right. 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. pic.twitter.com/k8N73pAXOw
— Kristen Bell (@KristenBell) June 25, 2020
“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.
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.
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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