Common characters in The Simpsons like Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Dr. Hibbert, and Carl Carlson will now not be voiced by white actors, producers introduced Friday.
“Transferring ahead, The Simpsons will now not have white actors voice non-white characters,” the present confirmed to BuzzFeed Information.
The choice comes 5 months after actor Hank Azaria introduced he would now not be voicing Apu, a recurring character whose stereotypical portrayal and accent had drawn criticism for years.
Apu, a clerk of the Kwik-E-Mart comfort retailer, had not appeared on the present for months, but it surely was nonetheless unclear if Fox could be bringing the character again with one other actor offering the voice.
On Friday, the present, which has been on the air for greater than 30 years, introduced it could be taking wider motion in how its different nonwhite characters are voiced.
Azaria, for instance, additionally voiced Carl Carlson, a Black character who works on the energy plant along with his inseparable finest good friend, Lenny Leonard, and Homer Simpson.
Harry Shearer additionally voiced nonwhite characters within the present like Dr. Hibbert and Sanjay Nahasapeemapetilon, Apu’s brother.
Information of the casting modifications got here shortly after Mike Henry introduced he’ll now not voice Cleveland Brown, a Black Household Man character, saying, “individuals of shade ought to play characters of shade.” On Wednesday, Kristen Bell additionally introduced she wouldn’t play a biracial character within the sequence Central Park and that the position could be recast, and Jenny Slate mentioned she would now not voice a Black character on the Netflix sequence Large Mouth.
Producers of The Simpsons have for years pushed again in opposition to efforts to alter the present’s characters, lots of which have been portrayed with closely stereotypical personalities. However Apu, whose character speaks closely accented English and is in an organized household with eight kids, had been extremely problematic for years.
Comic Hari Kondabolu raised these points in his documentary The Downside With Apu, the place he argued the lovable however problematic character had helped drive the stereotype of South Asians.
The present ended up addressing the controversy throughout one among its episodes however pushed again on the time in opposition to any notion of change.
“One thing that began many years in the past and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect,” Lisa Simpson says in an episode whereas her mom, Marge, reads a kids’s guide that has been up to date to take away stereotypical references.
Lisa then appears at a framed image of Apu on her nightstand.
“Some issues might be handled at a later date,” Marge tells her.
“If in any respect,” Lisa responds.