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Kristen Bell, Jenny Slate step aside from roles voicing Black characters

Bell voiced Molly for Apple's "Central Park," while Slate was the voice of Missy on "Big Mouth" on Netflix for four seasons.

LOS ANGELES — Editor's Note: The video above originally aired in March 2019.

Two well-known white actresses are stepping aside from voice roles where they portray Black characters.

The producers of "Central Park," an animated series in the works from Apple, announced in a statement that Kristen Bell would no longer voice Molly, the mixed race central character of the show. 

The show's creative team called the re-casting of the voice of Molly "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."

The change was reported by Variety.

Bell will remain with the show in a new role. She tweeted Wednesday evening that portraying Molly "shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege."

Bell's tweet included a screenshot of the statement issued Wednesday by the show's creative team.

Central Park's creator, Loren Bouchard, said in January that "Kristen needed to be Molly," even though the character of Molly was mixed race and couldn't be white, so the producers "just had to go forward," with no intention of re-casting the role, Variety reported.

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The announcement of Bell's re-casting came shortly after actress Jenny Slate said she was stepping down as the voice of "Missy" on the animated Netflix 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,” Slate wrote in an Instagram post. "But ‘Missy’ is also Black and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.”

Production on the fourth season of Big Mouth has already wrapped up, Variety reported, so the new voice of Missy will likely debut in Season 5.