Family Guy's Mike Henry Quits as Voice of Cleveland: 'Persons of Color Should Play Characters of Color'

at .

One of Family Guy's most beloved characters will have a new voice. 

Mike Henry, who has played the role of Cleveland Brown, is exiting the series after two decades. 

“It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years,” Henry tweeted on Friday.

henry cleveland

“I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”

Henry, who is not Black, has voiced Cleveland on Family Guy since 1999, when the series debuted. 

mike henry

He went on to star as the titular character on spinoff series The Cleveland show for four seasons between 2009-13. 

After the show was canceled, he returned to Family Guy in a full-time capacity. 

It's unclear whether Henry could be kept on the series in a whole new role, but we're sure an announcement will come down the line. 

Family Guy typically produces episodes well in advance, so it's unclear whether the actor's voice has been used in future episodes, or if they will be scrapped. 


Several other actors have announced this week that they will no longer be the voice of Black characters as Black Lives Matter protests continue across the country. 

Episodes of 30 Rock and Scrubs that showed actors in blackface were pulled from streaming services and syndication. 

Jenny Slate also announced that she will be parting ways with Big Mouth.

“At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it was permissible for me to play 'Missy' because her mom is Jewish and White — as am I,” Slate wrote on Instagram.

Kristen Bell Attends Hello Bello Event

“But 'Missy' is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.”

The same week, Kristen Bell announced she would no longer be paying a mixed race character on Central Park.

"Casting a mixed race character with a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race and Black American experience," Bell said.

"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."

Kristen Bell Attends SirusXM Event

What are your thoughts on this decision?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch Family Guy online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: , , ,