Kristen Bell Announces She Will No Longer Voice a Mixed-Race Character on ‘Central Park’

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Kristen Bell announced Wednesday that she would no longer be voicing the mixed-race character Molly, on Apple TV+’s new animated series, Central Park.

The decision comes amid the ongoing national conversation about race, which was ignited by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last month.

The actress took to social media Wednesday with a photo of a statement from the show’s creators, who said that together with Kristen, they’ve realized casting a white woman to play the voice of a mixed-race character was wrong.

“The entire creative team recognizes that the casting of 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.”

Kristen, who will still be a part of the show, added her own statement in the caption, in which she acknowledged a “lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege.”

“This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Here is one of mine,” she wrote.

“Playing the character of Molly on Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed race character with a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race and Black American experience.”

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Kristen deemed the casting of Molly’s role “wrong,” and assured fans that the entire Central Park team is committed to making 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.”

Central Park is an animated musical comedy about the Tillermans, a family who lives in New York City’s iconic Central Park.

“Owen, the park manager, and Paige, his journalist wife, (who) raise their kids Molly and Cole in the world’s most famous park, while fending off hotel heiress Bitsy Brandenham and her long suffering assistant Helen, who would love nothing more than to turn the park into condos,” according to Apple TV+.

Just hours after Kristen announced the changes coming to Central Park, another white actress, Jenny Slate, announced she would be stepping down from her role on the Netflix animated series, Big Mouth, in which she voices the mixed-race character, Missy.

The Saturday Night Live alum says although Missy is both white and jewish, just like herself, she’s also black.

“And Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people,” she wrote.

 

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Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm is the Editor of ForEveryMom.com! An outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure, she lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese all while capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras. Follow her on Facebook!