Back in June, voice actor Mike Henry stepped down from voicing the part of Cleveland Brown on the animated series Family Guy. The show now announced it has found a new actor to voice the popular character—YouTuber Arif Zahir. On his channel, Zahir entertains his 6.2 million followers with impressions of Cleveland among others.
Henry was the voice behind the black character since the show’s beginning in 1999. He walked away from the part saying that “persons of color should play characters of color.” Following Henry’s departure, Zahir put himself forward as a candidate to fill the part in a TikTok video. “So apparently the voice actor for Cleveland Brown stepped down today,” he said in the video using the character’s iconic laugh. “Wow! I wonder who could do the job. I seriously have zero idea.”
In his statement upon hearing he did indeed get the job, Zahir said: “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.”
Henry also issued a statement congratulating zahir. “Arif’s vocal talent is obvious, but his understanding of Cleveland and his respect for the character give me confidence that he is in the right hands.”