- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 25, 2020

Actress Kristen Bell announced she is stepping down from her role voicing a mixed-race character in the Apple TV+ animated series “Central Park,” acknowledging her role as Molly showed “a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege.”

“This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Here is one of mine,” Ms. Bell wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday night. “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,” she wrote.

“Central Park,” which debuted in May, had already wrapped up recording for season two, but the show intends to recast Molly and re-record her dialogue before the season’s debut, Yahoo reported.

Ms. Bell will be recast in a new role on the show.

The “Central Park” creative team issued a statement, saying, “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.”

“We profoundly regret that we might have contributed to anyone’s feeling of exclusion or erasure,” they wrote.

Netflix’s animated comedy “Big Mouth” made a similar change Wednesday, announcing that Jenny Slate, who is Jewish, would be exiting her role as Missy, a biracial girl with a Jewish mother.

“…Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people,” Ms. Slate wrote on Instagram.

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