Netflix announced on Friday that comedy writer and performer Ayo Edebiri has joined the cast of Big Mouth as Missy, replacing Jenny Slate, who has voiced the character since the animated show’s first season.
Edebiri will first be introduced as Missy in the penultimate episode of Season 4, premiering in fall of 2020, and she will continue to voice the character in all following episodes. The show was previously renewed by Netflix through six seasons.
Additionally, Edebiri will join the Big Mouth writers’ room beginning on Season 5.
“I was definitely a very uncomfortable child, so I think the show speaks to that and a lot of those feelings, which still resonate with me as an adult,” Edebiri told Variety. “I’m back home in my childhood bedroom right now and on my bookshelf in between A Series of Unfortunate Events is Bill Clinton’s autobiography and Nelson Mandela’s autobiography and a translation of The Iliad in Latin. I was a true dork. So I don’t think I have to go too far to connect with Missy.”
The news comes after Slate, a white actor, publicly apologized for voicing a black character on the show. According to Big Mouth co-creator Andrew Goldberg, Slate was scheduled to voice Missy through the end of Season 4, but co-creator Jennifer Flackett found a moment in the season’s penultimate episode that felt like “a really organic and cool place” to switch Missy’s actor.
Co-creator Nick Kroll notes, “It’s about Missy’s continued evolution as a person — that she has all of these different parts of who she is. There’s the sidelines Missy and the more sexually adventurous Missy, mirror Missy, and then also this Missy that she’s been discovering [in Season 4] through hanging out with her cousins and really taking a look at her black identity.”