Back at the beginning of the year, Hank Azaria decided to abandon the role of the owner of an Apu convenience store in The Simpsons after the character became embroiled in controversy for not only encouraging stereotypes of Indian characters, but for being voiced by an actor who was white. Now The Simpsons They will follow suit in all areas by not having white actors voicing colored characters from here on out.
The Simpsons It is not the only FOX animated series to make changes to the way they cast colored characters. Family man Bender Mike Henry he will steer clear of voicing the role of Cleveland Brown, a character he has played since the series began in 1999.
TV Line has direct FOX news about The Simpsons new policy in the cast of characters for the show. The network made a brief statement saying simply, “Moving forward, The Simpsons It will no longer have white actors playing non-white characters. “
This decision will lead to several changes to the program. For example, Hank Azaria has also been voicing the black character Carlton Carlson, and Harry shearer He has lent his voice to Dr. Julius M. Hibbert, another black character on the show. Tress MacNeille He has also voiced the wife of Dr. Hibbert Bernice and the wife of Apu Manjula, along with the Asian character Cookie Kwan. That will no longer be the case with The Simpsons‘new policy on characters of color. It’s unclear how soon the show could find replacement actors to voice those characters, especially since they don’t appear very often.
In the meantime, Family man Bender Mike Henry It was announced that he will be leaving the role of Cleveland Brown in the animated series. He’s been voicing the character since 1999, even when the character got his own spin-off series. But on Friday, he posted this statement on Twitter:
It has been an honor playing Cleveland in Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but people of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will leave office. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT
– Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) June 26, 2020
Cleveland Brown’s voice is unique, and he is a character who appears much more frequently than any of the secondary colored characters in The Simpsons. Finding a replacement actor won’t be easy, but this is definitely the right decision for Henry to make.
It’s kind of frustrating that it has taken so long for such a change to happen, especially since it means that whoever replaces Henry will never have a chance to lead his own show like Cleveland Brown. But since Family man It will not go anywhere soon, the role will be a good opportunity for whoever gets the role.
This is just the latest change in the cast of colored character voices in featured animated shows. Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate recently left their roles as mixed-race characters in Central Park and Big Mouth respectively. Meanwhile, it shows how 30 rocks and Scrubs They have been removing streaming and syndication episodes that contain characters in blackface. Many progressive changes continue to be made in Hollywood, and many more will surely follow.
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