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'Simpsons' voice actor slams show's decision to stop having white actors portray cartoon characters of color

He doesn't seem very happy about the move

Actor Harry Shearer (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Actor Harry Shearer — who voices characters on "The Simpsons" — says the show is wrong for its decision to stop having white actors portray cartoon characters of people of color.

In June, the long-running animated show announced it would no longer permit white voice actors to play the roles of non-white characters

What are the details?

Shearer, who voices characters ,including Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, and African American doctor Julius Hibbert, says that "the job of the actor is to play someone who they are not."

The 76-year-old actor explains that the move simply doesn't make any sense.

He told Times Radio that he will no longer be voicing Hibbert, but that it did not impact him or his income because he is not "paid by the voice."

"I have a very simple belief about acting," he said. "The job of the actor is to play someone who they are not."

Shearer has worked on the show since 1989.

'Ugly stereotypes about South Asians'

In January, actor Hank Azaria — who voices convenience store owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon — announced he would no longer voice the character, which appears to be of Indian descent.

In public remarks, Azaria said that he was in favor of the move.

“All we know is I won't be doing the voice anymore, unless there's some way to transition it or something," Azaria said.

The character was later phased out of the show altogether.

Azaria added, “We all made the decision together – we all agreed on it. We all feel like it's the right thing and good about it."

In 2018, the New York Times' Vikas Bajaj wrote that the character simply "perpetuated ugly stereotypes about South Asians" when it came to the points of view of many Indian Americans and Indian immigrants.

A statement on the matter read, "Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters."

One last thing…
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