Arif Zahir is set to replace Mike Henry as the voice of Cleveland Brown in ‘Family Guy’
The 54-year-old voice actor announced in June he would be stepping down as the voice of the popular ‘Family Guy’ character - who once had his own spin-off in the form of the since-axed ‘Cleveland Show’ - as he no longer felt it was right for him to voice a Black character
29 September 2020
And now, series creator Seth MacFarlane and showrunners Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin have confirmed YouTube star Arif - who has made a name for himself doing impressions of various characters including Cleveland - will take over the role.
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In a statement, Arif said: “When I heard that Mike Henry was stepping down from the role of Cleveland Brown - my favourite 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 honour 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.”
Mike will continue working on the show in his other voice roles - which include Herbert, Bruce, and several others - and is “looking forward” to welcoming Arif into the team.
He said in his own statement: “I welcome Arif to the ‘Family Guy’ team. 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. I look forward to getting to know Arif and working with him to make sure Cleveland stays every bit as awesome as he has always been.”
Arif will begin voicing Cleveland for the 19th season of the show, which has just entered production.