The controversy surrounding The Simpsons‘ Apu has really heated up in recent years. Though he’s often viewed as a beloved resident of Springfield, 2017 documentary The Problem With Apu brought up some serious questions about whether such a stereotypical Indian-American character should still be allowed on a celebrated TV show like The Simpsons. Since then, the producers have come under fire for failing to respond to the controversy. But that all changed several months ago.
Yes, in news that sent fans reeling, star Hank Azaria revealed that he won’t be voicing the Kwik-E-Mart proprietor any longer. But now, the series has gone one step further and announced that no longer will white actors be allowed to voice non-white characters. In a statement released earlier today, the producers said:
“Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.”
This comes hot on the heels of Family Guy actor Mike Henry announcing he’ll no longer be voicing Cleveland Brown on the hit show. Meanwhile, Jenny Slate of Big Mouth and Kristen Bell of Central Park also stated earlier this week that they’ll no longer voice mixed-race characters on their respective series. And that’s not to mention all the shows that have been pulling their blackface episodes from various streaming services lately.
When it comes to The Simpsons though, perhaps the most notable actor that’ll be hit by this new rule is Harry Shearer, who voices the black character Dr. Julius M. Hibbert, among others. Not that he’ll be out of a job, mind you, as he also voices Charles Montgomery Burns, Ned Flanders and more.
But tell us, what do you make of The Simpsons‘ new rule? Do you agree with it? As always, let us know down below.