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‘Family Guy’ white actors will no longer voice non-white roles



PHOTO: Mike Henry has stepped down from his role as Cleveland - Fox TV

Mike Henry from ‘Family Guy’ announced he will no longer voice the role of Cleveland Brown, while the creators of ‘The Simpsons’ announced they would stop using white actors to play non-white roles as well. Mike Henry said in a tweet that he will no longer play the part of Cleveland Brown, a black character who has appeared on the “edgy” animated comedy since its debut in 1999.

“It’s been a pleasure to play Cleveland on ‘Family Guy’ for 20 years. I love this character, but people of colour are supposed to play coloured characters. Therefore, I’m going to step down from the role.”

Separately, the creators of “The Simpsons” announced that the series, which recently ended its 31st season, would make even more far-reaching adjustments.

“Moving forward, ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors with a voice of non-white characters.”

The statement came in the light of a wider examination of systemic bias in the media and entertainment that followed many police shootings of black Americans.

For the Fox comedies ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy’, two of the most popular and longest-running television animated series, Friday’s announcements highlighted significant changes in the use of white actors to play colour characters on those shows.

‘The Simpsons’, which made its series debut in 1989, has been strongly criticised in recent years for portraying the character Apu, an Indian immigrant, played by a white man, Hank Azaria. Earlier this year, Azaria said that he would no longer play Apu, having come to the conclusion that the character perpetuated the stereotypes that had harmed the viewers of Indian descent.

'Family Guy' white actors will no longer voice non-white roles | News by Thaiger

Hank Azari. PHOTO: The Insider

“The Simpsons” has several other prominent black characters whose voices come from white actors, including Homer Simpson’s co-worker, Carl Carlson (played by Azaria) and Simpson’s family physician, Dr Hibbert (played by Harry Shearer). It wasn’t immediately clear how these characters were going to be dealt with at the series. The “Family Guy” roster also features other non-white characters played by white performers, such as Tricia Takanawa, a Japanese-American news reporter Alex Borstein.

SOURCE: The New York Times


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