Kristen Bell steps down from voicing mixed race character on ‘Central Park’
Kristen Bell announced on Wednesday that she would no longer be voicing mixed-race character Molly on Apple TV+ musical animated series Central Park. "This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity," Bell wrote on Instagram. "Here is one of mine. 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. 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."
Bell wrote that while sharing the official statement from Central Park creators Loren Bouchard (also of Bob's Burgers and Home Movies), Nora Smith, and Josh Gad. "Kristen Bell is an extraordinarily talented actress who joined the cast of Central Park from nearly the first day of the show’s development – before there was even a character for her to play – and she has since delivered a funny, heartfelt, and beautiful performance," the write. "But after reflection, Kristen, along with the entire creative team, recognizes that the casting of the character 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 will continue to be a part of the heart of the show in a new role but we will find a new actress to lend her voice to Molly."
You can read the whole statement below.
This announcement came shortly after Jenny Slate announced she would no longer be voicing mixed-race character Missy on Big Mouth.