Netflix's 'Big Mouth' Casts Ayo Edebiri to Replace Jenny Slate

Netflix’s Big Mouth has found its new Missy.

Ayo Edebiri will replace Jenny Slate on the animated series after Slate vacated the voice role in June amid a cultural reckoning. The character of Missy is biracial. 

Edebiri will make her debut in the penultimate episode of season 4, which premieres this fall, and will continue to voice the character for future seasons. (Netflix renewed Big Mouth through season 6.) Additionally, Edebiri has joined the writers’ room for season 5.

A rising comedian and actress, Edebiri is a co-producer on Tina Fey’s animated Netflix series, Mulligan. She is also a new addition to Apple TV+’s Dickinson, where she will play Hattie, a role specifically created for her after she joined the writers’ room. Other TV and film credits include a lead voice role in the upcoming animated film We Lost Our Human opposite Ben Schwartz.

Me irl: Animated me: pic.twitter.com/tJDH1XN5Wg

In June, Slate announced she was stepping away from Big Mouth, citing the initial decision to take the role was “an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a system of societal white supremacy.” The 38-year-old actress explained that her continuing to play Missy, a character she’s voiced since season 1, meant she “was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people.”

Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate Step Down From Voicing Biracial Animated Characters

Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate Step Down From Voicing Biracial Animated Characters

“Ending my portrayal of ‘Missy’ is one step in a life-long process of uncovering the racism in my actions,” Slate said. “As I look back on the nature and emergence of my own voice in comedy, I know that I have made mistakes along the way. I can’t change the past, but I can take accountability for my choices. I will continue to engage in meaningful anti-racist action, to be thoughtful about the messages in my work, to be curious and open to feedback and to do my best to take responsibility for the ways that I am part of the problem.”

After Slate’s announcement, Nick Kroll, co-creator, executive producer and star of Big Mouth, along with Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett, supported her decision and vowed to search for a Black actress to play Missy. 

“After thoughtful discussion with us and our Black collaborators, Jenny Slate has decided, and we wholeheartedly agree, that Missy on ‘Big Mouth’ should be voiced by a Black actor. We sincerely apologize for and regret our original decision to cast a white actor to voice a biracial character,” he wrote.

Previously, Apple TV+’s animated comedy, Central Park, replaced Kristen Bell — who left her role in June as Molly, a mixed race character — with Hamilton star Emmy Raver-Lampman.

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