Kristen Bell is dropping out of Apple TV+ animated musical comedy series Central Park, the popular Good Place star announced on social media Wednesday. Bell starred as Molly Tillerman in all 13 episodes of the first season of Central Park. The show debuted last month on Apple TV+.
Bell, whose character on the show is mixed race, said that she is stepping back so as to allow the character to be played by an actor whose race matches that of the character.
This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Heres 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. pic.twitter.com/8AL8m4K7Uk
— Kristen Bell (@KristenBell) June 25, 2020
“Playing the Molly in Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege,” Bell wrote in a statement shared on social media. “Casting a mixed race character [with a] white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race [and] Black American experience.”
Bell said that she is happy “happy to relinquish” the role. She also pledges that she will “commit to learning, growing and doing my part for equality and inclusion.”
Central Park was Apple’s first animated show for grown-ups
Central Park is Apple’s first animated TV series aimed at an adult audience. Loren Bouchard, who also created the popular Bob’s Burgers, created the show. Along with Kristen Bell, the cast includes Josh Gad, Leslie Odom, Jr., Kathryn Hahn, Tituss Burgess, Daveed Diggs, and Stanley Tucci. 20th Century Fox Television originally developed Central Park, with plans to air on FOX. However, the studio passed on it, which led to Apple picking up the show in a bidding war.
Apple has ordered 26 episodes of the show, split into two 13-episode seasons. It’s not clear whether any of the second season has yet been recorded — and will therefore need to be re-recorded with a new actor in place of Bell. No replacement actor has yet been announced. You can check out Cult of Mac‘s review of Central Park here.