Jenny Slate has addressed her decision to step aside from voicing her lead character on the Netflix animated series “Big Mouth”.
Last month, amid ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, Slate announced her resignation from the role of Missy, a young Black girl on the show.
“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,” Slate wrote in an Instagram post at the time. “But ‘Missy’ is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.”
Now, in a new interview on BuzzFeed‘s “News O’Clock” podcast, the actress shares more about her decision to step away from the character.
“I looked around my life and I could see very clearly where my reasoning was flawed and racist,” Slate said, “which is, I think, a scary word for white people to say because they couldn’t feel like it means ‘Oh, I’m a bad person,’ you know, or ‘I’m the same as the person that drove the car through protesters.'”
She continued, “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. 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.”