Today, Apple held a Television Critics Association panel for its upcoming Apple TV+ animated series Central Park, and in addition to sharing a teaser image and announcing the premiere window for the show, co-creator Loren Bouchard addressed some potential controversies with the voice cast. Bouchard is also the creator of Fox’s Bob’s Burgers, and like that show, Central Park will have a handful of female characters who are voiced by men—specifically Daveed Diggs and Stanely Tucci. Also, Kristen Bell is starring in the show, playing a young mixed-race girl.
Responding to a question about that at the TCA panel (via Deadline), Bouchard kind of sidestepped any concerns by admitting that “animation just makes you want to take this voice and have it come out of this face,” adding that he knew it would be “so fun” to do the voices the way he did that he just knew he had to do it. (Tucci is playing a woman who is “like Margaret Thatcher glued into a little dog.”) Bouchard says he’s committed to “balancing this shit out,” referring to gender and race in voice casting, but Kristen Bell “needed to be Molly, she was always going to honor that character. We couldn’t make Molly white or Kirsten mixed race, so we had to go forward.”
Central Park is an animated musical comedy about a family that lives in the park and must fend off the mean hotel heiress that wants to turn it into condos. It will premiere at some point this summer, and you can see the aforementioned teaser image up above. In addition to Bouchard, the other co-creators are Bob’s Burgers executive producer and divisive movie guy Josh Gad.