The Wire star Wendell Pierce wants to voice Cleveland in Family Guy after white actor Mike Henry stepped down from playing the African-American character last week.

Henry, who has voiced Cleveland Brown since Family Guy debuted in 1999 and in the character's spin-off series, The Cleveland Show, between 2009 and 2013, announced he would step down last week in response to the Black Lives Matter protests and the ongoing discussions about diversity and inclusion.

On Sunday, Pierce put himself forward as a replacement, tweeting, "Now that Mike Henry has consciously given up the role of Cleveland, I am publicly starting a campaign to voice the role myself on The Cleveland Show. #WendellIsCleveland," and tagging Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.

Announcing his departure last week, Henry tweeted: "It's been an honour to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of colour should play characters of colour. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role."

It comes after bosses at rival cartoon show The Simpsons announced white actors would no longer voice characters of colour on the series, following on from Hank Azaria's decision to quit the controversial role of Indian shopkeeper Apu in January.

Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate also stepped down from voicing biracial characters in animated sitcoms Central Park and Big Mouth, respectively, last week.