THE SIMPSONS and Family Guy will no longer use white actors to voice non-white characters.
On Friday, The Simpsons producers announced the show would “no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.”
It follows the decision made by voice actor Hank Azaria to stop playing Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.
Azaria stepped down from the role after attracting considerable controversy and criticism of Apu, who adhered to a series of negative Indian stereotypes.
Several notable characters will be affected by the change including Simpsons stalwarts like Dr Julius Hibbert and Carlton Carlson, who are voices by Harry Shearer and Azaria respectively.
Later that day, actor Mike Henry also announced he would be stepping down as the voice of Cleveland Brown after 20 years of voicing the character on Family Guy and spin-off The Cleveland Show.
“It’s been an honour to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years,” he wrote.
“I love this character, but persons of colour should play characters of colour. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”
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. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT
— Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) June 26, 2020
The announcements come amid sweeping changes throughout the entertainment industry in reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Parks & Recreation actress Jenny Slate previously announced that she would no longer be voicing her character on Big Mouth character, and would be replaced by a black actor.
The Good Place star Kristen Bell also confirmed she had quit her role in the animated series Central Park, where she voiced a mixed-race character.
Bell wrote on Instagram: “Playing the character of Molly on Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege.
“Casting a mixed-race character with a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race and Black American experience.
“It was wrong and we, on the Central Park team, are pledging to make it right.”