Ayo Edebiri, who is also joining the writers, will take over the role previously played by Jenny Slate, who chose to step away from the role in June amid an industry reckoning with diversity on and off screen. Missy is biracial, and Slate wrote of her leaving, “At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it was permissible for me to play Missy because her mom is Jewish and White — as am I. But Missy is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.”
Apple’s Central Park made a similar decision, with Kristen Bell stepping down from playing a biracial character. Emmy Raver-Lampman will play the part going forward.
Production on the fourth season of Big Mouth had largely wrapped before Slate chose to stop playing the character. Edebiri will take over the role in the final two episodes, which is set to air in the fall, and has already recorded her lines. The series has been renewed through a sixth season at Netflix.
Edebiri is a writer and comedian. She was story editor for NBC’s comedy Sunnyside last season and is a co-producer on Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s animated series Mulligan at Netflix and stars in the streamer’s upcoming animated comedy We Lost Our Human, opposite Ben Schwartz. She’ll also have an on-screen role in season two of Dickinson at Apple.
Edebiri tweeted a picture of herself as a child next to one of Missy to announce she’s joining Big Mouth; see it below.
Variety first reported the news.
Me irl: Animated me: pic.twitter.com/tJDH1XN5Wg
— Ayo Edebiri (@ayoedebiri) August 28, 2020