Veteran Voice Actor Harry Shearer Will No Longer Voice Black ‘Simpsons’ Character.
WHITE MAN Harry Shearer, who has provided the voice of Dr Julius Hibbert and loads of other characters on The Simpsons for the past 30 years, has been replaced as the voice of the black doctor by Kevin Michael Richardson as the show looks to stop white cast members from portraying characters from other ethnic backgrounds.
Richardson, another veteran voice actor who is best known for his voice work on Family Guy and American Dad!, will take over in an episode that will air in the US this weekend.
Shearer will continue to provide the voices for his other longtime characters, including Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner and Mr Burns.
Shearer joins Hank Azaria who stopped voicing Simpsons Indian character Apu last year after a 2017 documentary, “The Problem with Apu,” highlighted potential problems of an ethnic character being voiced by a white person. Azaria still voices a wide range of characters on the show, such as Moe and Chief Wiggum.
Kevin Michael Richardson has already witnessed these types of changes on Family Guy when issues came about with white actor Mike Henry voicing the black character Cleveland. Following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd, Mike Henry stepped away from the show with Arif Zahir taking over the role of Cleveland.
However, the news of the replacement has not been received well by some people with one Twitter user stating: “Harry Shearer isn’t black. In other news, Ellen Degeneres isn’t a fish named Dory and Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t drown on the Titanic in 1912.”
Although the majority of users on social media have backed the announcement, with one user writing: “Black characters should be played by black actors. Otherwise, it’s just minstrels all over again.”
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