Critically acclaimed actor Wendell Pierce is shooting his shot at possibly becoming the next person to voice the character of Cleveland, after Mike Henry stepped down from the role last week.
“Now that Mike Henry has consciously given up the role of Cleveland, I am publicly starting a campaign to voice the role myself on The Cleveland Show. #WendellsCleveland @TheClevlandSHo @SethMcFarlane_” he wrote on Sunday, adding the creator of the show to his PSA.
Henry, a white man, announced his retirement from voicing the role of Cleveland, a role that he’s played for decades on The Cleveland Show and Family Guy.
“It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on ‘Family Guy’ for 20 years,” Henry wrote on social media. “I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.” His announcement followed white actors Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell, who announced they would step down from voicing two Black characters on the animated shows Big Mouth and Central Park.
So far, Pierce’s supporters are behind the move 100 percent. As of Monday, his tweet has over 5K retweets and over 28K likes.
Fellow actor Mike Kelly retweeted Pierce’s post with an approval message of his own. “Perfect! @Wendell Pierce is not only one of the most talented dudes I know but someone you’ll love hanging with,” he wrote.
The Clemency and The Wire actor routinely speaks out about systemic oppression and racial inequalities in Hollywood and around the globe on his social media accounts. He also routinely stands up for his hometown of New Orleans, which has still suffered under numerous leaders in the rebuilding of Black communities since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Just prior to his Cleveland tweet, Pierce called out Trump for retweeting a video of supporters chanting “White power!”
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