‘Family Guy’ Casts YouTube Star Arif Zahir as Cleveland Brown

Arif Zahir, a YouTube star with more than 6 million followers, will take over the role of Cleveland Brown on the Fox animated sitcom “Family Guy,” according to an announcement shared on the show’s Twitter account.

The casting news comes nearly three months to the day after “Family Guy” writer Mike Henry, who is white, said he would no longer voice Cleveland Brown, who is Black. “I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color,” Henry said in a statement at the time.

Zahir, who has mimicked Cleveland Brown on his YouTube channel, spoke in the character’s voice in a video posted on Twitter on Friday afternoon: “I’ve studied Mike. I mean, he’s incredible. I won’t let you down. I promise.”

In a separate statement, Zahir said: When I heard that Mike Henry was stepping down from the role of Cleveland Brown — my favorite cartoon character of all time — I was shocked and saddened, assuming we’d never see him again. When I learned I would get to take over the role? Overabundant gratitude.”

Read the full story on NBCNews.com

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