The long-running animated series, The Simpsons has announced on Friday that it will no longer use white actors to dub ethnic minority characters.
“Moving forward, THE SIMPSONS will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” Fox Studios said in a statement to AFP.
The producers of the famous animated series said that the decision includes a recurring character from the series, launched in 1989 — Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, a grocer of Indian origin voiced in the American version of the show by white actor Hank Azaria.
In the series, the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has long been seen as conveying racist stereotypes. Azaria had announced Last January that he was abandoning the role.
The decision will also has its impact on the character of Dr Hibbert, a black man dubbed by the white actor Harry Shearer.
Shearer lends his voice to various characters on the series—from Homer Simpson’s boss Mr Burns to the chirpy neighbor Ned Flanders.
Mike Henry— the white actor who voices the black character of Cleveland Brown in Family Guy, another animated series produced by Fox, announced on Twitter that he was giving up the role.
“It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guyfor 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role,” he wrote.