Family Guy has found its new voice for beloved character Cleveland Brown.
26-year-old YouTuber Arif Zahir will take over the role for the show’s 19th season, which is set to air in the 2021-22 season, Seth MacFarlane and showrunners confirmed on Friday (September 25).
Mike Henry, who has voiced the character throughout the show’s run, said in June that he would step away from the part in re-thinking the voice casting for characters of color. He will continue to voice other characters and write for Family Guy.
“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,” he said at the time.
Arif will begin voicing Cleveland in season 19, which is beginning production.
“Firstly, I’m eternally grateful to have received this once in a lifetime opportunity. 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,” Arif said.
Watch a video of Zahir doing the voice of Cleveland as he plays Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — and paying tribute to Mike Henry…
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