In the wake of the Black Lives Matter moment against widespread racism around the world, makers of The Simpsons have decided to replace White voicing artists for Black characters in the show with Black voicing artists.
Along with various animated series like Big Mouth, Central Park and Family Guy, The Simpsons too, have joined the narrative that Black characters of the series deserve to be voiced by Black voice artists and actors.
Running for more than 30 years across 100 countries, the show is the longest-running scripted animated sitcom on US television.
Producers of animated TV comedy The Simpsons have announced that they are also ending the use of white actors to voice characters of colour. “Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” they said in a brief statement.
The decision comes after actor Hank Azaria decided to stop playing the character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon in The Simpson. Voice actor Mike Henry of Family Guy also announced he would step down from the role of Cleveland Brown.
It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT
— Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) June 26, 2020
NEW: “Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters." The Simpsons has released a statement on casting for non-white characters that will affect the voices of such popular Black characters on the show pic.twitter.com/92HF4Dxdep
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) June 26, 2020
White actors who will no longer voice characters of color on animated shows
-Hank Azaria (Apu, The Simpsons)
-Jenny Slate (Missy, Big Mouth)
-Kristen Bell (Molly, Central Park)
-and now Mike Henry (Cleveland, Family Guy)https://t.co/QoBg6KdUDc
— Joe Otterson (@JoeOtterson) June 26, 2020
This is a big deal.
Ending cartoon Black/brown/yellowface isn’t just about inoculating against easy-racist portrayals, it’s also about giving opportunities to performers of color. Literally dozens of roles that Black, Latinx & Asian VO artists were locked out of are now open. https://t.co/C4MDRdC3RQ
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) June 27, 2020
Mike Henry, the voice actor for the "Family Guy" character Cleveland Brown, said he would step down from the role, and the producers of "The Simpsons" said they would stop using white actors to play nonwhite characters https://t.co/R7gr4ALpqI
— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) June 27, 2020