Hot on the heels of Mike Henry announcing that he would no longer be voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy comes the news that characters of colour on The Simpsons will now be voiced by actors of colour. "Moving forward, ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters," Simpsons' producers said in a statement.
Dr. Julius Hibbert, Carl Carlson, Judge Roy Snyder, Drederick Tatum, and Lou are just a few of the characters of colour on The Simpsons who are voiced by white actors, primarily by Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria. It remains to be seen how these changes will be implemented on the show, but as far as Azaria goes, it won't be the actor's first time stepping down from voicing a major character on the series. After several years of controversy which was intensified following the release of Hari Kondabolu's 2017 documentary THE PROBLEM WITH APU, Hank Azaria announced earlier this year that he would no longer voice Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons.
In addition to Mike Henry stepping down as Cleveland on Family Guy, it was also announced several days ago that Jenny Slate would be stepping down from voicing Missy on Netflix's Big Mouth, and Kristen Bell followed suit by exiting the role of Molly on Apple TV's Central Park. Both of those roles are expected to be recast with a Black or bi-racial actor.