Dr Hibbert gets an authentic black voice | Simpsons character recast © Fox/Gage Skidmore/CC-by-SA 3.0

Dr Hibbert gets an authentic black voice

Simpsons character recast

Simpsons physician Dr Hibbert is to be voiced by a black actor for the first time from this weekend.

Kevin Michael Richardson, whose work includes Seth McFarlane’s  The Cleveland Show, will be taking over from  Harry Shearer in the forthcoming episode,

The Spinal Tap star had provided the voice of the ever-jovial medic since 1990 – and will continue to play Mr Burns, Ned Flanders and Principal Skinner on the show.

Producers vowed that white cast members would stop portraying characters from other ethnic backgrounds following particular criticism of Hank Azaria's voiceover of  shopkeeper Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

Azaria has said he will step away from the role, after his casting was highlighted in a 2016 film by comic Hari Kondabolu. His replacement has not yet been named.

Last September, Azaria was also replaced as the voice of Homer's black workmate Carl Carlson by Alex Désert.

‘Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have White actors voice non-White characters,’ producers said in a statement last year.

Other white actors have also stepped down from voicing animated characters of colour, including Mike Henry, who was Cleveland Brown in Family Guy, Kristen Bell in Central Park and Jenny Slate in Big Mouth 

Published: 23 Feb 2021

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