Pierce, who you may recognize from his work as Bunk Moreland in The Wire and Antoine Batiste in Treme, declared his intention to take on the role with a tweet:
Now that Mike Henry has consciously given up the role of Cleveland,I am publicly starting a campaign to voice the role myself on The Cleveland Show. #WendellIsCleveland @TheClevelandSho @SethMcFarlane_ pic.twitter.com/Ux3F0uk1p6— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) June 28, 2020
Henry's announcement followed the reveal that Jenny Slate had left her role as Missy on Big Mouth for similar reasons. Earlier this year, Hank Azaria confirmed that he would no longer be voicing Apu on The Simpsons following a backlash. In fact, all characters of colour on The Simpsons will now be played by people of colour.
It's been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT— Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) June 26, 2020