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Actor who voices The Simpsons' Mr Burns, Ned Flanders and Dr Hibbert speaks out about the show's decision to stop having white actors play POC characters (6 Pics)

Harry Shearer, the voice of Dr Hibbert, Mr Burns and Ned Flanders on The Simpsons, has spoken out about the show’s decision to stop white actors playing characters of color.
The long-running cartoon confirmed in June, under renewed pressure from the Black Lives Matter movement, that it would 'no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.' 
The move followed years of public criticism about the Fox television show's 'stereotyped' Indian convenience store character Apu, who is voiced by Hank Azaria.

Now Harry Shearer, 76, who voices multiple characters on The Simpsons including African American doctor Juilius Hibbert, appeared to criticize the decision, telling Times Radio that actors should be able to play outside their own experience.
'I have a very simple belief about acting. The job of the actor is to play someone who they are not,' said Shearer, who has also appeared in multiple movies including Spinal Tap and The Truman Show.
Dr. Hibbert from The Simpsons
Harry Shearer has played Dr. Hibbert, who is Black on The Simpsons and is to also step down
Harry Shearer (right), the voice of Dr Hibbert (left), Mr Burns and Ned Flanders on The Simpsons, has spoken out about the show’s decision to stop white actors playing characters of color 
'That's the gig, that's the job description.'
Shearer, who also plays Principal Skinner, Reverend Lovejoy and Weyland Smithers, warned against conflating representation in the industry with on screen performance.  
The actor explained that he did not have anything in common with some of his characters, such as Mr Burns, but that did not mean he couldn't play the character well. 
However, he says no longer voicing Dr Hibbert will not affect seriously affect him. 
'We don't get paid by the voice.' 
Hank Azaria said earlier this year that he would no longer play thee character of Apu, which has been criticized as a negative portrayal of Indian-Americans.
Azaria has also voiced the Simpsons characters of black police officer Lou and the Mexican-American Bumblebee Man.  
In January Azaria said he wasn't sure how to approach the issue or whether to stubbornly keep playing the character, but knew he needed more time to figure it out.
Hank Azaria, 55, announced in January that he would stop portraying Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu after 30 years
'It just didn’t feel right.' Hank Azaria says he came to the decision to stop voicing Indian immigrant Apu on The Simpsons after years of educating himself on racism
As a white Jewish man, Azaria said he started asking himself how he would feel about a prominent TV character representing him on television in the same way.
'But then I started thinking, if that character were the only representation of Jewish people in American culture for 20 years, which was the case with Apu, I might not love that,' he said. 
Azaria first debuted as the character during season one in 1990. 
Bumbling Homer Simpson, housewife Marge, troublemaker Bart, prodigy Lisa and baby Maggie have captured the changing face of America for more than 30 years in the longest-running scripted show on U.S. television.
The Simpsons is syndicated in more than 100 countries.
The show's announcement comes amidst a widespread reckoning for U.S. pop culture about racism following mass protests over the killings of Black Americans by police.
Mike Henry has said that he will no longer voice the black character Cleveland Brown on Family Guy. Henry had voiced the character since 1999
Mike Henry has said that he will no longer voice the black character Cleveland Brown on Family Guy. Henry had voiced the character since 1999
Henry announced his decision to no longer play Cleveland Brown on Friday evening
Henry announced his decision to no longer play Cleveland Brown on Friday evening 
Other white actors, including Mike Henry of animated series Family Guy and Kristen Bell of Central Park, who are both white, have also said they will no longer voice characters of color.
'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,' Henry said on Twitter on Friday.  
The 54-year-old voice actor, who is a white man, has voiced the character since the series´ debut in 1999.
Henry had also voiced the Latina maid named Consuela on the series.
Voice actors Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell - who are white - pulled out of their roles on their respective shows to have their biracial characters with someone of color.   

3 comments:

  1. It is not about skill level or qualifications anymore? Race is the number one parameter for hiring someone?
    Isn't that racist?

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is racist to condition work on one's race. The guy didn't educate himself enough on racism. This is a stupid decision

    ReplyDelete
  3. I demand that, from now on, kings in plays and films shall only be played by actors who are actual kings.

    ReplyDelete