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Old 06-26-2020, 07:55 PM   #1
JamesG
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TV YouTube Star Arif Zahir Announced as New ‘Cleveland Brown’

Voice Actor Mike Henry Stepping Down from ‘Cleveland Brown’ Role
by Bruce Haring
June 26, 2020



Voice actor Mike Henry said Friday on Twitter that he will no longer voice the Cleveland Brown character on Fox’s animated "Family Guy".

Henry, who is white, has voiced the African-American Brown since the show’s inception in 1999. He also voiced the character and his son, Rallo Tubbs, on the spinoff, "The Cleveland Show", which ran for four years on Fox.

It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role,” Henry wrote.

https://deadline.com/2020/06/family-...le-1202971407/
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:42 AM   #2
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About time. When they hire a black actor, I hope they make him more real.
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:29 PM   #3
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Wendell Pierce pitches himself for Family Guy's Cleveland Brown role

"Now that Mike Henry has consciously given up the role of Cleveland,I am publicly starting a campaign to voice the role myself on The Cleveland Show," The Wire alum tweeted Sunday, tagging Seth MacFarlane's Twitter account with a "#WendellIsCleveland" hashtag. Henry stepped down from his longtime role of Black character Cleveland Brown on Friday, saying a "persons of color should play characters of color."
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Old 09-25-2020, 02:20 PM   #4
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Arif Zahir Replaces Mike Henry as Cleveland Brown
by Nellie Andreeva
September 25, 2020



Fox’s "Family Guy" has recast the role of Cleveland Brown with YouTube star Arif Zahir.

Mike Henry will remain a voice cast series regular on "Family Guy", He will continue to play Bruce the Performance Artist, Herbert the Pedophile and a slew of ancillary roles and likely will help create new characters to voice.




Zahir will begin voicing Cleveland for Season 19 episodes which have just begun production. In Season 18, whose episodes had already been completed or were in advanced stages of animation when Henry exited the Cleveland role, will continue to feature Henry as the character.

The season premieres Sunday night with the show’s 350th episode.




Firstly, I’m eternally grateful to have received this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Zahir said. “When I heard that Mike Henry was stepping down from the role of Cleveland Brown — my favorite cartoon character of all time — I was shocked and saddened, assuming we’d never see him again. When I learned I would get to take over the role? Overabundant gratitude. To Mike, you created something truly special, and I promise I will do my absolute best to honor your legacy.

To Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin and Seth MacFarlane, thank you for this incredible gift. And to the millions of fans who love this show, I promise not to let you down.


https://deadline.com/2020/09/family-...es-1234585135/
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:36 PM   #5
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He looks nice. I know he'll do a great job.
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:05 AM   #6
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New Family Guy star Arif Zahir on becoming the new Cleveland Brown: "It was like a month or a month-and-a- half long process"

“It was a surreal moment," he says. "It was like a month or a month-and-a- half long process. It was over Zoom when they offered me the part. I wanted to scream as loud as I could. It felt unreal.” Zahir says he felt that studying Cleveland for his YouTube channel for the past seven years "gave me the chance to sit down, nitpick, and really get it right.”

Arif Zahir believes he landed Family Guy's Cleveland Brown role because he studied him as both a voice impressionist and an actor

Family Guy bosses Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin, who were considering phasing out Cleveland after Mike Henry exited the role, weren't aware of Zahir's YouTube channel where he did numerous impressions including that of Cleveland. It was Family Guy director Greg Colton who stumbled on his channel and alerted them to Zahir's work. Appel says Seth MacFarlane had set the bar high for Cleveland. “Seth was always very specific that he said, we would never just cast a great impressionist who wasn’t also a really talented comic actor,” Appel tells Variety. “And we wouldn’t cast a great comic actor who couldn’t capture not just the voice, but some of the part of the role that Mike Henry had nurtured for almost 20 years.” Appel says of finding Zahir's channel: “We did a deep dive, and certainly decided right then that if we were to recast Cleveland, obviously, we would have to consider him. To be fair to Arif, this was a role that our casting folks cast a wide net. And we had a bunch of really talented actors audition for. As each stage of this process progressed, the list narrowed and narrowed until there was one person on that list.” Meanwhile, Zahir had dropped out arts college because of his YouTube channel's success. Zahir believes studying Cleveland as an actor, and not just as a voice impressionist, game him an edge. “I try to put my personality and be really animated in my voices,” he said. “I felt like a lot of people who did Cleveland Brown’s impression lacked that. I studied it from the beginning of the Cleveland Show to watching Family Guy back in the late ’90s and seeing (Henry’s) performance change over the years. It’s really lived-in more than it was. I couldn’t help but think a lot of people that probably had auditioned didn’t really take the notes as much as I did. I really studied every little nuance that Mike’s performance had as Cleveland. I played back clips of the show, and matched the pitch as best as I could. I would just sit there for hours and just play it, pause, play it, pause.”

Last edited by TMC; 10-15-2020 at 03:10 AM.
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