Springfield’s jovial doctor Dr. Julius Hibbert will now not be voiced by Shearer transferring ahead after the Fox sequence introduced in June that it’ll now not have its Black characters voiced by White actors. Shearer has performed Hibbert and several other different characters on the present for greater than 30 years.
Based on Folks, Hibbert will now be voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, who has appeared as different characters in additional than 70 episodes of the present already. Shearer’s ultimate episode voicing Hibbert might be on Sunday’s episode titled “Dairy Queen.” Richardson will reportedly take the reins for the primary time as Hibbert within the upcoming episode titled “Wad Objectives.”
Representatives for “The Simpsons” didn’t instantly reply to Fox Information’ request for remark.
Though Shearer will now not play Hibbert, he’ll proceed because the voice expertise behind different beloved “Simpsons” characters equivalent to Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers and Ned Flanders.
Shearer beforehand defined in August that he doesn’t essentially agree with the choice to recast the present’s Black characters within the wake of widespread criticism and renewed consideration on casting sparked by final summer season’s protests over racial inequality.
“I’ve a quite simple perception about appearing. The job of the actor is to play somebody who they don’t seem to be,” Shearer, 77, mentioned Instances Radio on the time (by way of The Day by day Mail).
He added: “That is the gig, that is the job description.”
Shearer added that whereas he’ll now not voice the position of Dr. Hibbert, his profession is not severely impacted by the information.
“We do not receives a commission by the voice,” he informed the outlet.
The choice to rethink the way it voices Springfield’s Black characters got here months after “The Simpsons” voice actor Hank Azaria confirmed that he would now not voice the character Apu following backlash over his portrayal of Indian and South Asian folks. The choice was sparked largely by the important documentary “The Drawback with Apu.”
Different animated reveals have since adopted go well with, with Mike Henry, who beforehand voiced Cleveland Brown for twenty years on “Household Man” and the following spinoff “The Cleveland Present,” stepped down from voicing the character.
In the meantime, Kristen Bell walked away from her character on the AppleTV+ animated sequence “Central Park” shortly earlier than Jenny Slate made the identical choice about her character, Missy, in Netflix’s “Large Mouth.”