Jenny Slate Exits 'Big Mouth' Cast, Saying Black Characters Should Be Played by Black People
Published Jun 24, 2020Comedian Jenny Slate has made the decision to leave her role as Missy on Nick Kroll's animated Netflix comedy series, Big Mouth. Her decision stems from portraying a Black character as a non-Black person, saying "Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people."
The comedian explained that she initially justified playing a Black character because the two shared Jewish heritage, but later decided that her reasoning was not enough for her to continue on in the role.
"I acknowledge how my original reasoning was flawed, that it existed as an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a system of societal white supremacy, and that in my playing Missy, I was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people," Slate wrote in a statement.
Showrunners Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett have also offered their own statement in support of Slate's decision to leave, saying that "Missy should be voiced by a Black actor," followed by an apology for the initial casting choice.
So far, the Big Mouth team have not announced Slate's replacement.
Back in 2017, the show came under scrutiny for casting Slate in the role, with some Twitter users accusing creators of whitewashing.
See both of their full statements below.