Alison Brie Said She's "Truly Sorry" For Voicing A Vietnamese Character On "BoJack Horseman"

    "I now understand that people of colour should always voice people of colour."

    In a statement on Instagram, Alison Brie expressed her regret over voicing Diane Nguyen, a Vietnamese American character, in the animated series BoJack Horseman.

    Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

    The character appeared in more than 70 episodes of the show and was voiced by Brie from BoJack's premiere in 2014 to its finale earlier this year.

    Netflix

    "In hindsight, I wish that I didn't voice the character of Diane Nguyen," Brie wrote on Instagram. "I now understand that people of colour should always voice people of colour."

    Rich Polk / Getty Images

    "We missed a great opportunity to represent the Vietnamese-American community accurately and respectfully, and for that I am truly sorry," Brie said.

    She went on to say that she "applauds" the white actors who have recently stepped down from voicing people of colour in animated shows, adding that she has "learned a lot from them".

    Last week, both Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell said they were stepping down from voicing Black characters in Big Mouth and Central Park, and it was announced that characters of colour on the Simpsons and Family Guy would no longer be voiced by white actors.

    In a Twitter thread last week, BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg addressed the casting of a white woman to play Diane, saying it was a "mistake".

    This is something I am happy to talk about! I can tense up when asked about my mistakes (because I'm worried I'll say the wrong thing) but it's good for me to reflect on them and I hope others seeing me do so will help them not make the same mistakes! THREAD (with links!): https://t.co/8mLehLoAHV

    "I thought when I was ready I'd write something — like a blog post or Twitter thread — explaining why I had cast a white actress to voice an Asian character and why it was okay," he wrote. "But the more I thought about it (and listened to other people) the more I felt like it WASN'T okay."

    He also referenced an interview with Uproxx in 2018, in which he addressed the issue and said he was no longer comfortable remaining silent.

    Charley Gallay / Getty Images

    "I used the idea of colour-blind casting as an excuse to not pay attention," he said at the time. "I just said, 'Okay, let’s find good people for every role.' … But I think if you’re not paying attention, you’re going to end up with mostly white people just because that’s how our industry is set up."

    "We should have hired a Vietnamese writer, and a Vietnamese actress to play Diane," he wrote on Twitter. "Or if not that, changed the character to match who we did hire."

    We should have hired a Vietnamese writer, and a Vietnamese actress to play Diane - or if not that, changed the character to match who we did hire.

    "It's important for me to keep saying it until everybody hears it," he concluded. "ESPECIALLY when my show suggests the opposite of it. And the 'it' is this: the appearance of diversity without true diversity behind-the-scenes isn't real representation; worse, it's appropriation."

    Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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