Black comedienne recast as voice of Missy in Netflix’s ‘Big Mouth’

Writer, comic and actress Ayo Edebiri has been selected to portray Missy after the departure of Jenny Slate

Ayo Edebiri (via Instagram)

The character of Missy on Netflix’s animated series Big Mouth has a new voice after the original voice actress stepped away from the role two months ago.

Writer, comic and actress Ayo Edebiri has been selected to portray Missy, as reported by Variety. Jenny Slate, the original cast member, announced that she was quitting the role after coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t right for a white person to portray a character of color.

Missy is half Black and half Jewish in the comedy series.

Slate admits that her Jewish roots helped her rationalize her initial decision to play the role. However, in light of the racial unrest that’s taken place in the nation since the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, she could no longer do it in good faith.

READ MORE: Jenny Slate, Kristen Bell admit Black voice actors matter – but doesn’t solve the problem

“I acknowledge how my original reasoning was flawed, that it existed as an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a system of societal white supremacy,” Slate posted to Instagram, “and that in my playing ‘Missy,’ I was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people.”

Slate will voice most of season four’s episodes, and Edebiri will take over starting on the penultimate episode. Prior to being the new voice of Missy, Edebiri was hired to Big Mouth’s writer’s room for the forthcoming fifth season, but initially had no intentions of becoming Missy.

She displayed her excitement in an Instagram post announcing the move.

“As a writer my goal is never to figure out, ‘Oh let’s get myself a part on this show,'” Edebiri told Variety. “When I’m writing, I’m serving my boss’ vision and I want to be helpful in whatever ways I can be and lend my ideas and my jokes and whatever else they need to that.”

READ MORE: Danielle Brooks, Mike Colter, Asante Blackk and more cast in Netflix project ‘Social Distance’

Edebiri stated that her childhood experiences will help her identify to Missy’s character.

“I was definitely a very uncomfortable child, so I think the show speaks to that and a lot of those feelings, which still resonate with me as an adult,” she said.

“I’m back home in my childhood bedroom right now and on my bookshelf in between ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ is Bill Clinton’s autobiography and Nelson Mandela’s autobiography and a translation of ‘The Iliad’ in Latin. I was a true dork. So I don’t think I have to go too far to connect with Missy.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!