The Simpsons Will No Longer Use White Actors To Voice Non-White Characters

The Simpsons, which is scheduled to begin airing Season 32 later in 2020, will no longer be using white actors to voice people of color.

In a statement delivered by the show’s producers, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, it was said that the show “will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.” This follows an earlier decision between the producers and voice actor Hank Azaria to recast the character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian character. It has not been announced who will voice the character going forward yet.

Other characters that will need to be recast going forward include Apu’s wife Manjula, Dr. Hibbert and his family, Lou, Cookie Kwan, Drederick Tatum, and Bumblebee Man. It’s not a long list, with Apu standing as, by far, the show’s most prominent non-white character.

This comes shortly after Jenny Slate announced that she was stepping away from playing Missy in Big Mouth, and Kristen Bell similarly will no longer play Molly in Central Park. Family Guy actor Mike Henry has also recently announced that he will no longer voice Cleveland Brown on the show.

Since 2009, Black actor Kevin Michael Richardson has appeared on The Simpsons in 69 different episodes as various guest characters. The show’s cast has otherwise been predominantly white.

It is unclear whether new casting will be in effect in time for Season 32, or if the show will largely retire these characters as it has in the past when a voice actor has passed away. Hopefully The Simpsons will feature a more diverse voice cast going forward.

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