Alison Brie is the latest actor to apologize for portraying a person of color on a TV show or film.
In an Instagram post over the weekend, the “Glow” star said she wished that she “didn’t voice the character of Diane Nguyen,” a Vietnamese American character in the Netflix animated series “BoJack Horseman.”
“I now understand that people of color should always voice people of color. We missed a great opportunity to represent the Vietnamese-American community accurately and respectfully, and for that I am truly sorry,” wrote Brie, who added that she “applauds” other actors who previously stepped down from voicing people of color in animated shows.
The 37-year-old says she “learned a lot from them.”
Brie’s apology comes after “BoJack Horseman” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg shared a lengthy Twitter thread on the logic of casting a white woman to play Diane and how he feels about the decision now.
In addition to saying that hiring Brie was a mistake, he wrote: “We should have hired a Vietnamese writer, and a Vietnamese actress to play Diane — or if not that, changed the character to match who we did hire.”
This is something I am happy to talk about! I can tense up when asked about my mistakes (because I’m worried I’ll say the wrong thing) but it’s good for me to reflect on them and I hope others seeing me do so will help them not make the same mistakes! THREAD (with links!): https://t.co/8mLehLoAHV
— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@RaphaelBW) June 24, 2020
Bob-Waksberg concluded his thread about the character by saying, “The appearance of diversity without true diversity behind-the-scenes isn’t real representation; worse, it’s appropriation.”
Last week, Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate both issued statements announcing that they would no longer voice their respective characters on “Central Park” and “Big Mouth.” Their reasoning was that their characters on both animated series should have been portrayed by Black or mixed-race actors.
Bell and her show’s creative team apologized and said they’d be recasting the role of Molly with “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.”
Slate also apologized and told fans that “ending my portrayal of Missy is one step in a life-long process of uncovering the racism in my actions.”