Milton native Jenny Slate announced Wednesday that she will leave her role on the animated Netflix hit “Big Mouth” amid the nationwide protests against racism. Slate, who is white, voiced Missy, a Black seventh-grader, for the show’s first three seasons.
“At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it would be permissible for me to play ‘Missy’ because her mom is Jewish and white — as am I,” wrote Slate in an Instagram post. “But ‘Missy’ is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people. I acknowledge how my reason was flawed, that it existed as an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a system of societal white supremacy.”
Slate said her actions contributed to the “erasure of Black people” and that her resignation “is one step in a life-long process of uncovering racism” in her actions.
She has already recorded the fourth season of the cartoon, created by Nick Kroll. It will air later this year, after which Netflix will recast the role. Her now-former castmates include John Mulaney, Fred Armisen, and Maya Rudolph.
Slate, who lived in Milton before attending Columbia University, is known for her roles in “Saturday Night Live,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “Parks and Recreation.”
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