US animated comedy collection The Simpsons will not use white actors for the voices of characters from different ethnic backgrounds, the present’s producers say.
The present, broadcast on Fox Network, has confronted years of criticism over white actor Hank Azaria’s voiceover of Indian-American character Apu.
Mr Azaria mentioned earlier this yr that he was stepping down from the position.
The leisure trade has come beneath rising stress to present extra alternatives for non-white performers.
Friday’s announcement comes within the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which had been sparked by the dying of African-American George Floyd in US police custody on 25 May.
“Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” the producers mentioned in a brief assertion.
- What’s modified since George Floyd’s dying?
In January, Mr Azaria mentioned he would not be performing the voice of Indian comfort retailer proprietor Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, a job he had performed for the reason that character was created in 1990.
“We all made the decision together… We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing,” he mentioned on the time.
The present had been accused of utilizing the character in a means that bolstered racial stereotypes.
Mr Azaria – who supplies the voice of different characters, together with black police officer Lou and the Mexican-American Bumblebee Man – mentioned he discovered it “very upsetting to me personally and professionally” that anybody felt marginalised as a result of of Apu.
Fox Network’s assertion on Friday didn’t say whether or not Apu or different characters would proceed to function within the present.
- Apu: ‘A stereotype hiding in plain sight’
- Not all Indians suppose Apu is a racist stereotype
Other white US actors to announce that they’ll not be offering voiceovers for people of colour embody Mike Henry and Kristen Bell.
Mr Henry offered the voice of black character Cleveland Brown within the animated collection Family Guy for 20 years.
“I love this character, but persons of colour should play characters of colour,” he tweeted on Friday.
Ms Bell, who offered the voice of Molly, a mixed-race little one, within the cartoon collection Central Park, mentioned doing so displayed “a lack of awareness”.
“Casting a mixed race character [with a] white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race and Black American experience,” she added.