Kristen Bell is stepping down from one of her recent acting gigs.
The announcement was made by a handful of the show’s producers, which stated that “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.”
Bell also shared the statement online, adding one of her own.
“This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Here’s 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,” she said.
She continued, explaining that she’s “happy to relinquish the role” and pledging to “commit to learning, growing and doing my part for equality and inclusion.”
Creator Loren Bouchard had previously spoken about putting Bell in the role, saying the creators “just had to go forward” because Bell was a good fit for the role, but they “couldn’t make Molly white.”
Kristen Bell. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
The announcement comes shortly after white actress Jenny Slate announced that she’d no longer play the mixed-race Missy in Netflix’s “Big Mouth.”
“I have come to the decision today that I can no longer play the character of ‘Missy’ on the animated TV show ‘Big Mouth,'” Slate said in a statement. “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.”