Harry Shearer gets told The Simpsons is too “woke”

Harry Shearer, who was removed from voicing Black character Dr. Julius Hibbert, says he gets told that The Simpsons went “woke.”

harry shearer Simpsons

The Simpsons has come under repeated scrutiny for its voice cast, particularly the various races and cultures they are representing. The most damning attacks have been at Hank Azaria, who voiced Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon up until 2020. But Harry Shearer had to step away from one of the show’s most beloved supporting characters – Dr. Julius Hibbert – as well once showrunners decided that no white people would be voicing people of color. And he doesn’t seem too happy with how that has turned out.

Speaking with The Times, Harry Shearer said that people are adamant that The Simpsons is too PC anymore considering all of the casting changes. “Folk say the show has become woke in recent years and one of my characters has been affected. I voiced the black physician, Dr Hibbert, who I based on Bill Cosby. Back then he was known as the ‘whitest black man on television.’”

Who replaced Shearer as Dr. Hibbert?

Harry Shearer would be replaced by Kevin Michael Richardson in 2021 after having voiced Hibbert since season two’s “Bart the Daredevil” (making a hilarious debut) and played him more than 300 times. On this, Shearer said, “Then, a couple of years ago, I received an email saying they’d employed a black actor, who then copied my voice. The result is a black man imitating a white man imitating the whitest black man on TV.”

The Simpsons has undergone some major changes over the past few years. And although some may say it’s just one of many properties that has succumbed to “woke culture”, others have taken the stance that the show’s shift to progressive values has been beneficial to the causes. While some of the original voice cast has been forced away from certain characters, but James L. Brooks previously maintained that Homer would indeed continue strangling Bart. So it’s really a give and take over in Springfield…

Harry Shearer clearly enjoyed voicing Hibbert, but his favorite character to play is Mr. Burns, whose voice he modeled after Ronald Regan.

The Simpsons is currently in its 35th season.

What do you make of Harry Shearer’s comments about The Simpsons turning “woke”? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know below.

Source: The Times

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.