Harry Shearer to be replaced by black voice actor for voicing black character in Simpsons
Fox animated series’ will now feature Kevin Michael Richardson starting February 28.
In another move to diversify its voice cast, ‘The Simpsons’ core cast member Harry Shearer will stop voicing Dr Julius Hibbert who is Black on the show. This Sunday’s episode titled ‘DairyQueen’ featured Harry Shearer as the Black character on the show for the last time.
Fox animated series’ will now feature Kevin Michael Richardson starting February 28. The next episode ‘Wad Goals’ will have Kevin take over as Dr Hibbert. Richardson has previously voiced for about 70 Simpsons episodes and has also worked for ‘Family Guy’, ‘American Dad’ and ‘F Is for Family’.The move comes at a time of increased demand for inclusivity and representation. The Simpsons producers had issued a statement in June 2020 that “moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice nonwhite characters.” It keeps good to their promise.
Following Black Lives Matter protests last summer, animated series including Netflix’s ‘Big Mouth’ and Apple’s ‘Central Park’ also made moves to recast BIPOC characters with actors of color, and ‘Family Guy’ regular Mike Henry said he would no longer voice the character of Cleveland Brown, who’s Black, on the show.