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'The Simpsons': White actors won't voice non-white characters anymore, Internet says 'only took them 30 years'

It seems as though fans are upset the productions are only following leads of other productions 'in doing the right thing' instead of having done it on their own accord
UPDATED JUN 27, 2020

Variety reported that on Friday, June 26, 2020, producers of the longtime animated series 'The Simpsons' said in a statement that the show "will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters", no less than an hour after Mike Henry, the voice of Cleveland Brown from the animated series 'Family Guy', said he wouldn't voice Brown anymore. "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 as reported by the Denver Channel. Many productions have come under fire as the protests against racial injustice continue to ravage the United States, but fans were livid wondering why it took so much time to do something right. "Only took them 30 years. And yes, this is a big deal. #Simpsons," one user wrote.

"The Simpsons using People of Color to voice minority characters. All it took was 30 years, a documentary, more relevant shows doing it first & a conversation about racism spurred by police brutality & murder. Going off social media now until next wave of death threats pass," tweeted a user. Another one adding, "It only took 30 years for @TheSimpsons to do the right thing... acting after other shows/actors led the way." Variety further reported that the series "won't have any repeats" of actor Hank Azaria voicing the Indian character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon — something many have already called out many times. "Notice how they frame it, too. The headline conveniently highlights their virtue rather than their potential shortcoming. It could easily read, 'Simpsons used white people to voice black characters for 30 years, just now changing this practice because everyone is mad'," wrote another furious user. 

Notably, in 2018, on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert', Azaria had said that he would no longer voice Apu. He said, "The most important thing is, we have to listen to South Asian, Indian people in this country when they talk about how they feel and what they think about this character," after the series faced constant criticism on being tone-deaf when it came to race. "Oh now The Simpsons will hire Black actors to voice Black characters...... only took 30 years," tweeted another impressed user.

It seems as though fans are upset the production is only following the lead of other productions "in doing the right thing", instead of having done it on their own accord. "And family guy did it because big mouth did it," tweeted another user. Last week, Jenny Slate who voices the character Missy on Netflix's 'Big Mouth' said she would step down as well. While some looked at the positives of the situation with one user writing, "To be fair the Simpsons have black male characters in successful competent positions. Dr Hibbert, Judge Snyder, Seargent Lou and Carl (who is apparently Homer's supervisor). Voice casting is a problem but actual in show representation is decent. Important step nonetheless," others were simply not buying it. "Hey remember when @harikondabolu made a doc about this and instead of making the change they joked about it in an episode? The only reason they are making the change now is because Family Guy did. This is not something to celebrate. Shame on the Simpsons it took them 31 seasons," replied an upset user.

Most importantly, some users recognized this big step which is pushing people to notice the actual point of all this. "Don't be misled. I'm ALL FOR these actors giving up their roles or the producers saying 'You know what? No more cishet white VAs voicing minority characters on our show.' BUT this is so that minority voice actors actually GET more opportunities. I hope Simpsons doesn't forget," tweeted one user.