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‘The Simpsons’ Casts Kevin Michael Richardson to Take Over Voicing Dr. Julius Hibbert

For 31 years, actor Harry Shearer has offered the voice of Dr. Julius Hibbert on The Simpsons. However that streak got here to an finish with this previous Sunday’s episode, “DiaryQueen.” As promised final summer season, the present’s producers have employed a Black actor to switch Shearer and voice the Black character.

Vulture studies that Harry Shearer’s tenure as Dr. Hibbert has come to an finish. Beginning with this coming weekend’s episode, “Wad Goals,” the character will now be voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, who voiced Goro within the 1995 Mortal Kombat film and has since acted in tons of of episodes of tv in reveals like Pinky and the Mind, Static Shock, Teen Titans, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Boondocks, and F is for Household, simply to call just a few. He’s additionally a veteran of The Simpsons, having lent his voice to characters like Anger Watkins, Jimi Hendrix, Dave Chappelle, and plenty of extra since 2009, so that is acquainted territory for him. (Shearer, in fact, continues to be concerned with the collection – he voices characters like Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, and extra.)

After Hank Azaria stepped away from the function of comfort retailer proprietor Apu on The Simpsons final 12 months, the producers determined to alter their coverage about voice actors enjoying sure roles. “Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” they stated. This casting switch-up is the newest instance of the producers following via on that promise, nonetheless belatedly: The Hollywood Reporter factors out that Richardson’s casting comes within the wake of Alex Désert being introduced in to play Homer Simpson’s co-worker Carl Carlson, beforehand voiced by Azaria, and Jenny Yokobori taking up as Comedian Guide Man’s spouse, Kumiko Albertson, who was beforehand voiced by Tress MacNeille.

That is half of a bigger, long-needed transfer towards correct illustration that’s going down on this planet of animation. Inside the previous 12 months, white actor Mike Henry walked away from the function of Black character Cleveland Brown on Household Man (Arif Zahir ended up being solid in that function), and each Netflix’s Large Mouth and AppleTV+’s Central Park determined to modify up their casting to provide individuals of coloration the chance to voice characters of coloration on these reveals.

Richardson has received two Daytime Emmy nominations for his work because the Joker in The Batman, an animated collection which aired within the mid-2000s. If he can win an award for embodying a personality as iconic because the Joker (and one which had such a defining efficiency by Mark Hamill years earlier in Batman: The Animated Collection), he’ll be simply wonderful enjoying Dr. Hibbert on The Simpsons.

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