Kristen Bell Says She Has 'A Lot To Learn' After Backlash For Playing Mixed Race Character

Kristen Bell is known for always keeping it real. Regardless of the subject matter, the 40-year-old is known for being open and honest with her fans, even if that means owning up to a mistake.

The actress, and mom of two, faced backlash earlier this year for accepting the role of a mixed-race character in the animated show Central Park.

Fans may recall that earlier this year, Kristen made headlines after accepting the role of a mixed-race character, named Molly, in the Apple TV Plus animated series *Central Park.*

Kristen immediately received backlash for playing Molly, whose character has a black father and a white mother.

Loren Bouchard, the series' showrunner, defended the decision to hire Kristen in January, saying: "Kristen needed to be Molly. We couldn’t not make her Molly."

"But then we couldn’t make Molly white and we couldn’t make Kristen mixed race so we just had to go forward," she explained.

However, after the events of this past summer, and the growing significance of the Black Lives Matter movement, Kristen and the *Central Park* team made the call to replace Kristen with a mixed-race actor.

Umbrella Academy's Emmy Raver-Lampman was hired for the role of Molly.

Now, Kristen is reflecting back on her choice to accept the role in the first place in a new interview with *Romper* magazine.

"I grew up in Detroit. I didn’t consider myself an ounce of a racist," she explained.

"And when I read How to Be an Antiracist [and] White Fragility — required reading of a citizen of Earth in 2020 — I realized, ‘Well, I’ve been a part of these systems.’ I was unaware of this whole pot of [expletive] that’s been stirring,"

She continued: "I have a lot to learn. And I have a lot of action steps to take, to fulfill what I think my beliefs are.”

"The people who say I could play that role aren’t wrong. But I wanted to step down for two reasons. One, if there was one girl who could have a job who wouldn’t otherwise have a job, because there are not a lot of Black or mixed race characters on cartoons — if one girl could have that job, I would want her to have it."

"Two, if any little girl who is mixed race or Black looks up who plays that role, I want them to see someone who looks like them."

"It’s absolutely the right decision," Kristen concluded. "And it went to absolutely the right girl."

What a great example of learning from a mistake and using it to better yourself!

h/t: Romper

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