‘Simpsons’ to stop white voices for characters of colour

  • ‘Simpsons’ to stop white voices for characters of colour

‘Simpsons’ to stop white voices for characters of colour

"Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters", Fox spokesperson Les Eisner said in a statement on June 26.

In the wake of the anti-racism protests in the United States following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, media companies are now reviewing the content they produce and removing what is deemed controversial in terms of depicting people of colour.

And separately, makers of the United States version of The Office have cut a scene from a 2012 episode featuring blackface on streaming sites.

Today's new policy for The Simpsons came within an hour of Family Guy star Mike Henry, the white actor who voices Black character Cleveland Brown, saying he would no longer do so. The show has been slow to address its own struggles with representation in the past, a fact highlighted most directly by Hari Kondabolu's 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu, and the length of time it existed before the show took any meaningful action. Apu's original conceit is based on Indian stereotypes that proliferated in America, including his exaggerated accent and day job running a convenience store. The documentary explored how people of South Asian descent felt about growing up with Apu as one of their only representatives on American television.

Producers of the animated series "The Simpsons" announced on Friday their decision to stop casting white actors to voice non-white characters.

Other similar moves have taken place in recent days.

The newly announced change should impact a number of key figures around Springfield. For instance, Simpsons staple Harry Shearer provides the voice of the Bill Cosby-esque Dr. Julius Hibbert, who is Black. "But I went too far in the other direction". Producers didn't say whether Apu would remain on the show.

Bumbling Homer Simpson, housewife Marge, troublemaker Bart, prodigy Lisa and baby Maggie, have captured the changing face of America for more than 30 years in the longest-running scripted show on USA television.

The Simpsons announcement comes just hours after white actor Mike Henry released a statement to say he would be stepping down from his role of Cleveland Brown in Family Guy.

Cleveland has been a series regular since the earliest days of Family Guy, and was even popular enough to merit a spin-off that last for four seasons, starting in 2009.