Joining the ranks of Kristen Bell and Jenny Slade, Alison Brie now says she "wish[es] that I didn't voice the character of Diane Nguyen," a Vietnamese-American character from the adult animation show Bojack Horseman.
Brie, who is also known for her role as Trudy Campbell in Mad Men and currently stars in the Netflix series Glow, put out an Instagram post in which she apologized for taking the role.
"I now understand that people of color should always voice people of color. We missed a great opportunity to represent the Vietnamese-American community accurately and respectfully, and for that I am truly sorry," she said.
"I applaud all those who stepped away from their voiceover roles in recent days. I have learned a lot from them."
Alison Brie could've stopped voicing Diane Nguyen at any point and passed the role onto a Vietnamese woman. Any point. Any point at all.— big himbo energy (@big himbo energy) 1593035754.0
thinking about how alison brie voiced diane nguyen...... and there was a whole episode where diane traveled to viet… https://t.co/8YX8AMO9VN— kyla 🌙 (@kyla 🌙) 1593033062.0
Now that we're FINALLY talking about voice actors matching the race of the character they're playing, can we agree… https://t.co/QRGi1Ku878— hannah!!!!! (@hannah!!!!!) 1593216496.0
alison brie did an entire ass episode of bojack where Diane Nguyen goes back to Vietnam and experiences uniquely di… https://t.co/4FEzAOhI9u— irl prince zuko (@irl prince zuko) 1593352292.0
@alisonbrie if you regret it so much, donate all the money you've made from your work as Diane to organizations tha… https://t.co/vmuJPdgVaL— Black Joy Activist (@Black Joy Activist) 1593462667.0
While Brie's apology comes at an opportune time, and is getting attention across the internet, many are looking further into the apology, noting that it's been a point of controversy for years and that Brie's money from the character is already made.
Alison Brie has issued an apology for voicing Diane Nguyen on Bojack Horseman I'd take some of these statements mo… https://t.co/mdg0yrfDzF— Jolson (@Jolson) 1593304757.0
Alison Brie went on to say that rather than just issue a social media apology, she would be donating the money she… https://t.co/vsGJsscVI1— Perch (@Perch) 1593288444.0
just for the record we didn't say anything when alison brie voiced diane in bojack horseman and now it's too late— cassie cao (@cassie cao) 1593065269.0
@CBR Yo, we are NOT pressed about this, man. If you wanna do something to help then simply allow people of color mo… https://t.co/RRgve95y1R— Julien Ihekaire (@Julien Ihekaire) 1593280646.0
The insanely racist thing where white actors play POC characters on woke animated shows is bad, and should be stopp… https://t.co/JDHa40v6Rn— JACAB FLORES (@JACAB FLORES) 1593037569.0
Bojack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg shared a lengthy Twitter thread on Brie being cast as Nguyen, calling hiring Brie a "mistake," and acknowledging fault behind the scenes of the show as well.
This is something I am happy to talk about! I can tense up when asked about my mistakes (because I'm worried I'll s… https://t.co/k8gDY7hv19— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980204.0
In the first few seasons of BoJack, I was asked about the casting of Diane a few times on twitter and reddit but I… https://t.co/gv7aYUrl7g— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980204.0
I thought when I was ready I'd write something - like a blog post or twitter thread - explaining why I had cast a w… https://t.co/xZGbt7bGYN— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980205.0
After season 4, I felt like I was never going to feel "ready" to talk about it, and I just had to do it, ready or n… https://t.co/hAe5eo7wX0— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980205.0
One of the reasons I wanted to do an interview instead of writing something myself is I knew a journalist would hol… https://t.co/6CT3Osp4lS— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980205.0
I also make some unforced errors there, like saying about the conception of Diane, "She’s going to be fully America… https://t.co/IAJUVMrIt9— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980206.0
In season 5, we did an episode about Diane taking a trip to Vietnam, which spurred more conversation around the cas… https://t.co/zphzurSFVy— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980206.0
Some people took my answer to Inkoo's question about if there were Asian writers on staff ("As of Season 5, no, the… https://t.co/wBhM0dwpsW— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980206.0
In addition to misrepresenting a Vietnamese woman on screen, the writer's room failed to back up the character with any mirroring representation.
Even in the small ways we wrote to Diane's experience as a woman of color, or more specifically an Asian woman, we… https://t.co/AMbtSjQ2cX— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980206.0
The intention behind the character is I wanted to write AWAY from stereotypes and create an Asian American characte… https://t.co/BFu1P0DXw7— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980206.0
For the Vietnam episode, we brought in @cest_la_vyvy as a consultant and actress. Vyvy was ENORMOUSLY helpful and w… https://t.co/fdHMDS4Eyn— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980207.0
We should have hired a Vietnamese writer, and a Vietnamese actress to play Diane - or if not that, changed the char… https://t.co/JVBMlrNcS7— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980207.0
Every time I talk about this, people comment, "This is silly. Why does it matter? Actors act!" I think I answer tha… https://t.co/t0LqTPn8VH— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980207.0
Finally, here's a conversation I had around the same time with @e_alexjung for Vulture, about this topic and a lot… https://t.co/bjFIkOm2GN— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980207.0
I am grateful to the people who have engaged me in conversation, or criticized me on this. Sometimes (not the times… https://t.co/WssgplNXVU— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980208.0
But that's okay! It's important for me to keep saying it until everybody hears it. ESPECIALLY when my show suggests… https://t.co/OE72oZ3NcT— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@Raphael Bob-Waksberg) 1592980208.0
Bob-Waksberg's acknowledgement of fault highlights something important in conjunction with Brie's apology: this conversation is not limited to the actors themselves.
Will this conversation continue past the current moment?