Alison Brie has issued a formal apology for her portrayal of the character Diane Nguyen in BoJack Horseman. Diane was a supporting character on the Netflix animated dramedy, which ended its six-season run in September of 2019. While Diane was written as a Vietnamese-American, Brie herself is white and on Friday, she issued a heartfelt statement on Instagram.
"In hindsight, I wish that I didn't voice the character of Diane Nguyen," Brie wrote in the post. "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 respectively, and for that, I am truly sorry. I applaud all those who stepped away from their voiceover roles in recent days. I have learned a lot from them."
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The issue with Brie's casting had been pointed out be a fan on Twitter back in January of 2018, and BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg spoke to Uproxx about the blindspot he had when casting the character. While he was determined that Diane was "not going to be a cliché" whose "race is barely going to play a factor and she's just going to be a person," he admitted that he "was so young and so green, I didn't understand how much power I had." Ultimately, he admitted the final casting bothered him but called himself a "coward" for denying the problem.
The criticism over Diane's voice actor has been renewed amid global civil rights protests, which have prompted a number of actors to step down from their roles as non-white characters in animated programs. Jenny Slate announced she'd no longer be voicing the Missy in another Netflix series, Big Mouth, while Kristen Bell will be recast in AppleTV+'s musical series Central Park, leaving the character of Molly open for a Black voice actor.
Family Guy actor Mike Henry announced on Friday that he'd be stepping down from the role of Cleveland Brown. That same day, The Simpsons producers also announced that no non-white characters would be voiced by white actors, an issue dating back throughout the show's considerable history. Netflix also announced on Friday that it would be pulling an episode of Brie's old sitcom Community from the platform, due to Ken Jeong's character appearing in blackface.