In wake of protests against racism, the makers of popular show The Simpsons have decided not to use white actors to voice characters of colour. This includes, among others, Harry Shearer as Dr. Julius Hibbert.
The announcement was made with the statement:
Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.
Re: The Simpsons using People of Color to voice minority characters. All it took was 30 years, a documentary, more relevant shows doing it first & a conversation about racism spurred by police brutality & murder.— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) June 26, 2020
Going off social media now until next wave of death threats pass.
As an Indian I don't need Apu's VA to matches his race. We want more Indian characters that don't play to outdated stereotypes. Give us Raj the accountant or Karan the starbucks barista. The Simpsons aren't solving the lack of representation by getting rid of Hank Azaria as Apu pic.twitter.com/JGKQW4wyDo— meatkid🧢 (@CactionJosh) June 27, 2020
Honestly. None of these gestures, not The Simpsons, not Cleveland's voice actor, not removing episodes of Community, actually helps us. It feels like out of touch white executives telling us what we're offended by when I don't know a single black person who needed those changes. https://t.co/QHTb6YFCW7— Ayo 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬 (@AyoMakesArt) June 27, 2020
I did not know that about The Simpsons.. but Family Guy, yes. The right call for both indeed. Absolutely.— Tommey Liang⭐ (@tommeyliang) June 27, 2020
Earlier this year, Hank Azaria, the actor who lent voice to Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, said that he has decided to quit.
Which in turn was a decision that came after the release of 2017 documentary The Problem with Apu, by comedian Hari Kondabolu.
Hari had reacted to the news with this tweet:
If @HankAzaria is indeed no longer doing the voice of Apu, I do hope they keep the character & let a very talented writing staff do something interesting with him. If not to better the show, then to atleast spare me some death threats.— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) January 17, 2020
Meanwhile other white actors, like Mike Henry of Family Guy and Kristen Bell of Central Park, have also decided to not play characters of colour.
It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT— Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) June 26, 2020