Animated TV comedy “The Simpsons” is ending the use of white actors to voice characters of coloration, producers stated Friday.
“Moving ahead, ‘The Simpsons’ will not have white actors voice nonwhite characters,” they stated in a quick assertion.
The assertion didn’t elaborate, however the transfer follows years of public stress in regards to the Fox tv present’s Indian comfort retailer character Apu, who’s voiced by Hank Azaria.
Azaria stated earlier this 12 months that he would not play the character, which has been criticized as a damaging portrayal of Indian Americans.
Azaria has additionally voiced the Simpsons characters of black police officer Lou and the Mexican American Bumblebee Man. Harry Shearer has performed Dr. Hibbert, who’s black.
Friday’s assertion didn’t say whether or not Apu or the opposite characters would stay on the sequence.
Bumbling Homer Simpson, housewife Marge, troublemaker Bart, prodigy Lisa and child Maggie have captured the altering face of America for greater than 30 years within the longest-running scripted present on U.S. tv.
“The Simpsons” is syndicated in additional than 100 international locations.
Friday’s announcement comes amid a widespread reckoning for U.S. popular culture about racism following mass protests this month over the killings of black Americans by police.
Other white actors, together with Mike Henry of the animated sequence “Family Guy” and Kristen Bell of “Central Park,” have additionally stated they’ll not voice characters of coloration.
“It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on ‘Family Guy’ for 20 years. I like this character, however individuals of coloration ought to play characters of coloration. Therefore, I shall be stepping down from the function,” Henry stated on Twitter on Friday.