Ayo Edebiri Will Replace Jenny Slate As Missy On Netflix's "Big Mouth"
Edebiri — a comedian, podcast host, and coproducer — had already joined the Big Mouth writers room for Season 5.
Writer and performer Ayo Edebiri will now voice Missy, a young Black girl on Netflix's Big Mouth cartoon series, replacing comedian Jenny Slate who quit the role in June to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Edebiri — a comedian, podcast host, and coproducer on Tina Fey's new animated Netflix series Mulligan — had already joined the Big Mouth writers room for Season 5.
On Friday she posted a photo of herself as a child next to a photo of Missy, showing how similar the two look.
Netflix announced the news Friday, noting that Edebiri's voice will first appear as Missy in the penultimate episode of Season 4.
Slate had already recorded the rest of the season before her decision in June to step away from the role because she said it was inappropriate for a white person to voice a Black character.
Her announcement, as Hollywood and the rest of the country grappled with racism and the Black Lives Matter protests, kicked off a spate of white actors resigning from voicing characters of color. Mike Henry announced he will no longer voice Cleveland Brown, a Black Family Guy character, saying, "persons of color should play characters of color." Kristen Bell resigned from playing a biracial character on Central Park, and The Simpsons promised they would only no longer hire white actors to play characters of color.
"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," wrote Slate in an Instagram post in June. "But 'Missy' is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people."
Slate also spoke to BuzzFeed's News O'Clock podcast about how her decision to voice Missy in the first place was racist.
"I think I, as a white person, was looking around the world in the last couple of months and thinking, Well, there is something that I genuinely don't understand and I should understand it," Slate said. "And there can be shame and other feelings that come into that. But those are, at least for me, the impetus to make the change."
Currently, three seasons of Big Mouth have already aired, and another three have been ordered.
After the Friday announcement, New Yorker writer Naomi Fry posted a screenshot of a text conversation where Fry suggested to Edebiri that she voice Missy.
"Ahahaha," replied Edebiri. "HAHAHA."
Correction: Ayo Edebiri is not the showrunner of The Kominsky Method. A previous version of this post misstated her credits.