What you need to know
- Kristen Bell is changing her role in TV+ show Central Park
- She played Molly, a mixed-race character.
- She says that a Black or mixed-race actress should be cast in the role.
Kristen Bell will no longer play Molly in the Apple TV+ show Central Park, stating that she believes her character, who is mixed-race, should be played by a Black or mixed-race actress.
This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Here's 1 of mine. Playing the Molly in Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed race character w/a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race & Black American experience. It was wrong and we, on the Central Park team, are pledging to make it right. I am happy to relinquish this role to someone who can give a much more accurate portrayal and I will commit to learning, growing and doing my part for equality and inclusion.
The statement says:
"Kristen Bell is an extraordinarily talented actress who joined the cast of Central Park from nearly the first day of the show's development - before there was even a character for her to play - and she has since delivered a funny, heartfelt, and beautiful performance.
But after reflection, Kristen, along with the entire creative team, recognizes that the casting of the character of Molly is 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."
Bell will remain with the show in a "new role", but a new actress will be found for Molly. The statement says "we profoundly regret that we might have contributed to anyone's feeling of exclusion or erasure."
Central Park is a musical comedy about a family that lives in, you guessed it, Central Park. From the show's own description:
"Central Park" is an animated musical comedy about the Tillermans, a family that lives in Central Park. Owen, the park manager, and Paige, his journalist wife, raise their kids Molly and Cole in the world's most famous park, while fending off hotel heiress Bitsy Brandenham and her long suffering assistant Helen, who would love nothing more than to turn the park into condos.
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