“The Simpsons” will not have a repeat of Hank Azaria voicing Apu.
The producers behind the show released a statement on Friday saying that from now on, their characters of color will be voiced only by actors of color.
“In the future, ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors playing non-white characters,” the statement said.
News of the decision comes less than an hour after Mike Henry announced he will. is no longer the voice of the Cleveland Brown character in the Fox animated comedy “Family Guy”.
“The Simpsons” has come under heavy criticism in recent years on this subject, especially by Azaria playing the Indian character Apu, and this statement represents a substantial change in the historical stance of producers on the subject. Azaria announced that she was get away from expressing the character in January. Calls for it to intensify after the 2017 documentary “The Problem with Apu” by comedian Hari Kondabolu. The document explored how people of South Asian descent felt about growing up with Apu as one of their only representatives on American television.
“The Simpsons” added Kevin Michael Richardson, who had previously been a recurring cast member, to the full-time cast a few seasons ago. Richardson currently voices many of the show’s African American characters.
The animated series space is currently considering its history of choosing white actors to portray non-white characters. Only in the last week, Jenny Slate announced about it would no longer play the biracial character Missy on the popular Netflix show “Big Mouth”, and Kristen Bell revealed that she would be giving up his role as a biracial character in the Apple animated series “Central Park”.