Josh Gad wants to "do better" when it comes to promoting diversity on the set of 'Central Park'.
The 39-year-old actor co-created the Apple TV+ series - which debuted in May - alongside Loren Bouchard and Nora Smith, and has spoken out after actress Kristen Bell revealed she will be stepping down from voicing the role of biracial teenager Molly Tillerman.
Kristen left the show as she wanted to see a Black or mixed race actress play the character instead, and Josh praised her for being determined to "get this right".
He said: "I could not love Kristen Bell more than I already knew I loved her, because it wasn't even a discussion. It was - 'This is what we're going to all do collectively to make sure that we get this right.' "
Josh - who also stars with Kristen in the 'Frozen' movie series - admitted finding an actress to replace Kristen has been "a really hard task", but said it has been "thrilling" to watch auditions for the role.
He added: "And in terms of finding the person to replace Kristen as Molly, it's a really hard task. I will say that we've been immersed already in listening to so many unbelievable auditions, and some very well known people, some not well known people. It's been thrilling to see the excitement and the love that people seem to have for this character in this role that Kristen created. Everybody's bringing their own unique take on it, so I hope that we have something to announce very soon."
The actor said having to recast Kristen's role has been a "learning lesson" for him as people continue to fight for racial equality, and said he's committed to bringing more diversity to the 'Central Park' cast and crew.
Speaking to 'Entertainment Tonight', he said: "I think what's really amazing is the conversations that have risen out of this. You've seen immediate change, I think, across the board on the surface level. How do you continue to make sure that there are opportunities that aren't just flashy, but opportunities from the writers room down? Animation, directors, producers - where do you continue to do better? How do you continue to do better?
"I think that conversation is really driving a lot of the decisions moving forward, not only 'Central Park' but everything I'm involved with. And it's exciting to see."
Tagged in Kristen Bell