The Belcher family stand together in a group hug
(Fox)

‘Bob’s Burgers’ Creator Announces Long-Overdue Recasting for Fan Favorite Character

Recasting a fan-favorite character is not usually a good sign for a show. It’s risky, as the quality of the show and/or the character could diminish. Sometimes it does work out but, for the most part, you’re taking a huge gamble on fans sticking around to watch someone else play the character.

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However, if you’re recasting a character in order to be true to who the character is as a person and to more accurately represent your show’s core values, you’re showing the character’s real-life community that you care about their representation and want to be an ally, not a hindrance. And that’s exactly what Bob’s Burgers’ creator Loren Bouchard did when he decided to recast the voice of Marshmallow.

Marshmallow is a black trans woman who first appeared on the series in the Season 1 Episode “Sheesh! Cab, Bob?” when Bob Belcher, the head of the Belcher family, took up a second job as a cab driver in order to pay for his eldest daughter, Tina’s, birthday party. Bob meets a ton of colorful characters on his journey, but the most notable group he interacts with is a group of drag queens and trans women, including Marshmallow. However, at the time, all of the trans characters were voiced by white cis men. But now, Bouchard is doing right by the divalicious Marshmallow.

Marshmallow is finally being voiced by a trans woman

Back in 2020, Bouchard’s other animated show, Central Park, caught a lot of backlash when it was revealed that Kristen Bell, a white actress, was going to voice the character of Molly, a Black mixed-race girl whose race and specifically her hair are core tenets of her character.

After hearing the outcry from fans, Bouchard took to Twitter to post an apology statement in which he called Bell a “talented actress,” but Bouchard, Bell, and the Central Park team realized that Molly would be an “opportunity to get representation right” and that casting a Black mixed-race actress would give the character “all the nuance and experience” she deserves.

Fans took the news well and one in particular tweeted at Bouchard that he should “do the same for our girl Marshmallow,” to which Bouchard responded, “On it.”

And now, three years later, Bouchard has not only confirmed that Marshmallow is trans, something that apparently Bob’s Burgers fans were debating, but she will now by voiced by Jari Jones, a Black trans actress who has appeared in such work as Pose, Port Authority, Mutt, and Transparent.

In a recent tweet, Bouchard explained to a fan who asked if Marshmallow was trans that he was “well intentioned but ignorant when [the creators] launched that character,” and that he is “still learning every day.” He also expressed gratitude that the Belchers are “are flying around somewhere in her orbit” and announced that Jones would be taking over the role.

Jones herself posted a cute gif of Marshmallow dancing with the caption, “Where do I put my coat,” which is a reference to Marshmallow’s first appearance on the show where she wore a gorgeous fur coat over a thong bodysuit.

In this era where the trans community is constantly being belittled, harassed, and targeted just because of who they are, it’s nice to see a popular show watched by millions take the step to get this representation right. It’s a small thing but, as we all know, the small things add up to make a beautiful picture.

(featured image: Fox)


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Kayla Harrington
Kayla Harrington (she/her) is a staff writer who has been working in digital media since 2017, starting at Mashable before moving to BuzzFeed and now here at The Mary Sue. She specializes in Marvel (Wanda Maximoff did nothing wrong!), pop culture, and politics. When she's not writing or lurking on TikTok, you can find Kayla reading the many unread books on her shelves or cuddling with one of her four pets. She's also a world class chef (according to her wife) and loves to try any recipe she can find.