Apple TV+ has found a replacement for Kristen Bell on Central Park, and we could not be more in love with this casting. TV Guide has confirmed that The Umbrella Academy's Emmy Raver-Lampman will now voice the biracial character of Molly on the animated series.
The decision to recast the role was made in June when Bell and the creative team behind the show acknowledged their misstep in casting a white actress to voice a biracial character. "Casting a mixed-race character with a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed-race and Black American experience," Bell wrote on Instagram. "It was wrong and we, on the Central Park team, are pledging to make it right."
Casting Raver-Lampman, a biracial woman, to voice Molly is certainly more reflective of the show's efforts towards inclusion. In addition to allowing Black voices to tell Black stories, Central Park has also found a vocal powerhouse in Raver-Lampman, whose previous credits also include the Broadway production of Hamilton: An American Musical.
"From the moment we heard her Molly, we knew she was the right choice," reads a statement from the creative team of Central Park, including Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad, Nora Smith, Halsted Sullivan, and Sanjay Shah. "Her comedic chops, endearing spirit and other-worldly singing prowess have us jumping with joy at the possibilities of this already wonderful character moving forward."
Bell also put out a statement regarding the recasting, saying, "I am brimming with excitement to welcome Emmy Raver-Lampman to the Central Park cast as 'Molly.' Emmy's infectious charm and sheer aptitude will breathe a new and effervescent life into the character. One that Molly definitely deserves."
Deadline was the first to report this news.
Central Park Season 1 is currently streaming on Apple TV+.