The famous American cartoon series The Simpsons no longer let white voice actors speak the voices of colored characters in the series. The makers have announced this in a short statement.
There has been criticism for years about the, according to some, discriminatory way in which a number of characters in the series are portrayed. Critics, for example, believe that the Indian store owner Apu presents a negative, stereotypical image of the Indians in the US. White voice actor Hank Azaria who spoke Apu’s voice earlier this year said he would quit.
Azaria spoke The Simpsons, which airs in over a hundred countries, also voices the voices of a black police officer and a Mexican-American character. The makers have not said whether the characters in question will disappear from the series, or whether they will get the voice of other actors.
White voice actors from other American series have also said that they no longer want to record the voices of colored characters. For example, actor Mike Henry said that he no longer wants to voice the voice of the black neighbor Cleveland in the series Family Guy: “It was an honor to be able to do this for twenty years, but colored characters have to be played by colored actors.”
The debate in the US about racism has flared up after the death of black American George Floyd, who was killed by police brutality. TV makers are also increasingly being held accountable.
Streaming services have now taken several series of fragments offline because they are said to be discriminatory. For example, Netflix recently released a fragment of the American version of the comedy series The Office removed, because one of the actors had painted dark, in a reference to the Dutch Zwarte Piet.
Earlier, the entire British series Little Britain completely removed from Netflix due to blackface skits. And the BBC posted a warning on an episode of Fawlty Towers, in which one of the characters makes racist comments.