The Simpsons and Family Guy will no longer cast white actors to voice people of colour
The animated sitcom The Simpsons will no longer use white actors to voice non-white characters. The Simpsons is currently the longest-running primetime scripted show on TV and aired the season finale for season 31 last month. Created by Matt Groening, the show debuted in 1989 and shows the day-to-day stories of Homer Simpson and his family: wife Marge and children Bart, Lisa, and Maggie.
Set in the town of Springfield, the series is well-known for its social and political commentary and has become part of mainstream pop-culture. However, the show has been criticised for whitewashing. In fact, Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu created and starred in a documentary titled The Problem with Apu. It called out The Simpsons for casting a white actor, Hank Azaria, to voice an Indian-American immigrant named Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Azaria quit the series in January this year.
The Simpsons producers issued a statement today confirming the end of whitewashing on their show. “Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters," affirmed the producers.
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
The statement came out around the same time actor Mike Henry posted on social media that he was stepping down from voicing a Black character on Fox's Family Guy called Cleveland Brown.