Last June, The Simpsons announced that white actors would no longer be voicing Black characters on the show, and now Harry Shearer has been replaced by veteran voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson in the role of Dr. Julius Hibbert, Deadline has confirmed.
Shearer had been the voice of Dr. Hibbert since the character’s debut more than 30 years ago. Shearer will continue to voice his other characters Including Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner and Mr. Burns.
Fox confirmed to Deadline that Sunday night’s “Diary Queen” episode featuring Shearer as the voice of Dr. Hibbert was his last, and Richardson will take over the character’s voice beginning Sunday, February 28.
The Simpsons‘ new policy followed Family Guy veteran Mike Henry announcement last year that he would no longer voice the black Cleveland Brown character on Fox’s long-running animated hit. Hank Azaria also said last January that he would step back from voicing the Indian-American convenience-store proprietor Apu after being heavily criticized for doing so.
Richardson received a 2019 Primetime Emmy nomination for voicing the character Rosie on Netflix’s F Is for Family. He also has worked on Family Guy, American Dad!, Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Bless The Harts, among others.
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