In a bold step to voice, their support towards racial inequality, Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell have decided to step away from voicing the biracial cartoon characters they did till now.
For sure, George Floyd’s case has changed many people’s perspectives in various fields. The aftermath of Floyd’s death and impeccable support globally has changed the way things worked earlier in Hollywood by ‘whitening every key character by hook or by crook.’ In simple and direct words, the blind preference of white over black in Hollywood seems to be diminishing.
One of the latest examples of this is Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell, who were till now voicing for the biracial cartoon characters of ‘Missy’ in Netflix’s ‘Big Mouth’ and ‘Molly’ in Apple TV Plus’ Central Park’ respectively. On Wednesday, however, both the actresses released their separate statements declaring to step aside from their privilege for black people to be the voice of the biracial.
It started with Slate who earlier only considered the fact that Missy’s character had White Jewish mother released along on the social media platform Instagram to announce her decision which read, “I have come to the decision today that I can no longer play the character of “Missy” on the animated TV show “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. But Missy is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.” She went on acknowledging her reasoning to be irrational due to the benefits given to white in the social atmosphere of white supremacy.
She decides for this action so that black actors get their due credit. She confesses to being a part of this white superiority and assures to be more considerate and sensitive in the future. She ends her post by writing, “Most importantly though, to anyone that I’ve hurt: I am so very sorry,” she wrote. “Black voices must be heard. Black Lives Matter.”
Although the fourth season of ‘Big Mouth’ might still feature Slate as Missy, the creators of the show respected her decision and would work on fulfilling her wishes of having a black actor on board. They also stated that they should have done this earlier, apologizing for the same.
Kristen Bell, too, released her statement on Twitter to announce that she would no longer continue as ‘Molly’ on ‘Central Park’ and accepted the fact that she previously neglected to think of the privileges enjoyed by whites over blacks. Her post reads, “This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity, Heres 1 of mine.
Playing the Molly in Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed-race character w/a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed-race & Black American experience.” It has been reported that Bell might be playing some other character on the show.
After both the announcements, fans have come up in support of such a decision and to acknowledge a flaw of consideration and reflect on it now rather than never.