Harry Shearer, who voiced Dr. Hibbert, a black doctor from the animation The Simpsons, over 30 years, will no longer give voice to the character in the series. The white voice actor will give way to Kevin Michael Richardson, who is black. The measure is part of a decision by producers to no longer have white actors voicing characters from other ethnicities.
According to the Vulture website, a Fox representative reported that the 12th episode of the show’s 32nd and current season, which aired in the United States on Sunday (21), was the last to feature Shearer’s voice as Dr Hibbert. The character has been a recurring character since Season 2 of The Simpsons, in 1990.
In June 2020, the attraction’s producers even issued a statement stating: “Moving on, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voicing non-white characters.” In 2017, the issue gained prominence thanks to the documentary The Problem With Apu, which criticized stereotypes present in the Indian character Apu.
Harry Shearer goes on to voice other important characters on the show, such as Ned Flanders, Homer Simpson’s neighbor, Reverend Lovejoy of the Springfield church, and Mr. Burns, who owns the city’s nuclear power plant.
In August 2020, the voice actor criticized the program’s choice to get it off the ground. “I have a very simple belief about acting. The job of an actor is to play someone he is not,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times.
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