Simpsons ends use of white actors to voice folks of color
US animated comedy sequence The Simpsons will not use white actors for the voices of characters from different ethnic backgrounds, the present’s producers say.
The present, broadcast on Fox Community, has confronted years of criticism over white actor Hank Azaria’s voiceover of Indian-American character Apu.
Mr Azaria mentioned earlier this 12 months that he was stepping down from the position.
The leisure trade has come underneath rising strain to supply extra alternatives for non-white performers.
Friday’s announcement comes within the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which have been sparked by the loss of life of African-American George Floyd in US police custody on 25 Might.
“Transferring ahead, The Simpsons will not have white actors voice non-white characters,” the producers mentioned in a brief assertion.
In January, Mr Azaria mentioned he would not be performing the voice of Indian comfort retailer proprietor Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, a job he had performed because the character was created in 1990.
“All of us made the choice collectively… All of us agreed on it. All of us really feel prefer it’s the appropriate factor,” he mentioned on the time.
The present had been accused of utilizing the character in a approach that strengthened racial stereotypes.
Mr Azaria – who gives the voice of different characters, together with black police officer Lou and the Mexican-American Bumblebee Man – mentioned he discovered it “very upsetting to me personally and professionally” that anybody felt marginalised due to Apu.
Fox Community’s assertion on Friday didn’t say whether or not Apu or different characters would proceed to characteristic within the present.
Different white US actors to announce that they are going to not be offering voiceovers for folks of color embrace Mike Henry and Kristen Bell.
Mr Henry supplied the voice of black character Cleveland Brown within the animated sequence Household Man for 20 years.
“I like this character, however individuals of color ought to play characters of color,” he tweeted on Friday.
Ms Bell, who supplied the voice of Molly, a mixed-race baby, within the cartoon sequence Central Park, mentioned doing so displayed “a lack of understanding”.
“Casting a combined race character [with a] white actress undermines the specificity of the combined race and Black American expertise,” she added.