On Friday, “The Simpsons” producers issued a statement saying that the long-running series will no longer use white actors to voice nonwhite characters.
In addition, “Family Guy” cast member Mike Henry — a white actor who has provided the voice of the Black character Cleveland Brown on the show and its spinoff, “The Cleveland Show,” for 20 years — announced he will no longer do the voice.
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
Earlier this year, Hank Azaria — a white actor who originated the voice of Indian immigrant convenience store owner Apu on “The Simpsons” — announced he would no longer voice the character.
White actor Harry Shearer originally voiced some Black characters on the show, including Dr. Hibbert. But Variety reported that Black actor Kevin Michael Richardson has voiced many of the African American characters in recent seasons.
Richardson has voiced white characters in the past, most notably the Joker in the animated series “The Batman,” for which he was nominated for two Daytime Emmys, and Barney Rubble in the animated movie “The Flintstones: On the Rocks.”
The announcements come a day after white actors Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate both announced that they will no longer voice their mixed-race characters on “Central Park” and “Big Mouth.”
In separate social media posts, the actors both said the roles should be recast with Black or mixed-race actors.
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