Alison Brie Regrets Voicing Vietnamese-American Character on ‘BoJack Horseman’

STUDIO CITY, CA - JUNE 05: Actress Alison Brie visits 'The IMDb Show' on June 5, 2018 in Studio City, California. This episode of 'The IMDb Show' airs on June 14, 2018. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb/Netflix

After voicing the Vietnamese-American character Diane Nguyen in the animated Netflix series BoJack Horseman since 2014, actress Alison Brie now says she has regrets, saying the Netflix show — which completed its series run earlier this year — “missed a great opportunity” to cast a Vietnamese-American actress.

“In hindsight, I wish I didn’t voice the character of Diane Nguyen. I now understand that people of color, should always voice people of color,” said Brie in a statement posted to Instagram on Friday. “We missed a great opportunity to represent the Vietnamese-American community accurately, and for that I am truly sorry.”

“I applaud all those who stepped away from their voiceover roles in recent days,” said Brie of her regret in how she was involved in BoJack Horseman, which has now ended after the completion of 77 episodes featuring Brie playing the voice of Diane Nguyen.

Brie’s announcement comes after several other white actors relinquished their roles as the voices of minority characters in other animated shows.

On Friday, voice actor Mike Henry announced that he would be stepping down from his role as the black character Cleveland Brown on Fox’s popular animated show Family Guy. Henry had voiced the character for 20 years.

Similarly, on Wednesday, Central Park co-creator Josh Gad announced that actress Kristen Bell will no longer be playing the voice of Molly, a black character on the animated show. “We’re so excited to move forward — it was frankly an easy decision to make,” said Gad, who added that Bell will be replaced by a black or mixed-race actress.

Actress Jenny Slate also recently announced that she will be relinquishing her role as the voice of the bi-racial character Missy on Netflix’s animated series Big Mouth. The actress also apologized for her “white privilege” and claimed that she has benefited from a “system of societal white supremacy.”

“In me playing ‘Missy,’ I was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people,” Slate said.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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