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Harry Shearer Won’t Voice Black Character Dr. Hibbert on The Simpsons

Harry Shearer Won’t Voice Black Character Dr. Hibbert on The Simpsons

Shearer voiced opposition to stopping white people voicing non-white characters: “I have a very simple belief about acting. The job of the actor is to play someone who they are not. That’s the gig, that’s the job description.”

White voice actor Harry Shearer will stop providing the voice of Dr. Hibbert, a black character, on The Simpsons.

Fox decided last June that it will not allow white actors to voice non-white characters in the show. That is a move Shearer criticized in August.

From The Wrap:

“Last night’s episode ‘DiaryQueen’ featured Harry Shearer as the voice of Dr. Hibbert for the last time,” “Simpsons” studio 20th Television said in a statement to TheWrap on Monday. “Next Sunday’s episode ‘Wad Goals’ will have Kevin Michael Richardson voicing Dr. Hibbert — and from there on out he will voice the character.”

Shearer had voiced the character of Hibbert since the show’s second season in 1990. He declined through a Fox representative TheWrap’s request for comment on stepping back from the role.

The recasting of Hibbert comes after Fox said last June that “The Simpsons” will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters on the animated series.

“Moving forward, ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors voice nonwhite characters,” the network said in a brief statement at the time, which came amid the resurgence of Black Lives Matter rallies in the wake of Black man George Floyd’s death in police custody.

Kevin Michael Richardson will replace Shearer. He has worked on The Simpsons since 2009 along with Family Guy and The Cleveland Show.

In August, Shearer said: “I have a very simple belief about acting. The job of the actor is to play someone who they are not. That’s the gig, that’s the job description.”

From The London Times:

In an interview with Matt Chorley on Times Radio yesterday Shearer, who also plays Waylon Smithers, Principal Skinner and Reverend Lovejoy, said actors should be able to play characters outside their personal experience, noting that he also had nothing in common with Mr Burns and Ned Flanders. “I have a very simple belief about acting. The job of the actor is to play someone who they are not. That’s the gig, that’s the job description,” he said.

He warned that diversity efforts were in danger of conflating “representation”, the important work of ensuring that the industry employs people and reflects the lives of different communities, with on-screen performance.

He declined to criticise the show directly, joking that “we don’t get paid by the voice” so he would not suffer financially from not playing Dr Hibbert. He said his favourite character was Mr Burns, the money-hungry nuclear power tycoon. “He’s pure evil, and nothing’s better than that for comedy.”

A woman voices Bart Simpson. Why should that stick? Shouldn’t a male provide the voice of a male character?

Will non-white people voice white people?

These are obviously rhetorical questions.


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I won’t watch again

Screw them all to poverty

    redc1c4 in reply to gonzotx. | February 23, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    pretty sure the Simpsons stopped being funny a couple of decades ago, and i didn’t watch it much even back then.

    hell, being 29, ‘member when it was just a once a week cartoon strip in a Lost Angeles free paper.

    get woke, go broke, bitches.

Morning Sunshine | February 23, 2021 at 7:10 pm

I thought the simpsons were all yellow people?
(Full disclosure – I have seen MAYBE 10 minutes of the Simpsons, and not all of that from the same episode. It never interested me, even as a peer-influenceable teen)

Meh. Who cares?

I’m sure they’ll be able to find plenty of folks ready to take his place.

    You really support the new standard and are against people standing up to it, and don’t support pushback against the total cultural takeover of the left?

    That is surprising.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Danny. | February 23, 2021 at 9:25 pm

      My guess is that the person you replied to didn’t read the article and assumed this Hollywood celeb was standing down out of principle. Comments makes more sense that way.

      I gotta say though that I have zero sympathy for any Hollywood leftist shill when woke culture eventually comes for them to eat one of their own.

        You may be right but there is a history of Republicans not caring about the culture to but in context the comment would fit just assuming and not reading the article.

        Personally I think even the wokest actor once they stop being woke they deserve our sympathy, especially if they push back as this man did.

        Shearer is a absolutely fantastic voice actor, whatever you think of the show there is no doubt he is great at his job and is putting other jobs he may be offered on the line to attack the new standard of must play your own race. Whatever past transgressions he did are in the past.

        Of course ones who just argue “cancel them not me” I have no sympathy for.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to NavyMustang. | February 23, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    He needs to sue them for racism. The system needs to be loaded with such cases.

What about science fiction? Fictional actors? Klingons, Vulcans, etc, etc? So much for “Hamilton” or is racial appropriation OK if from a “powerless” minority (which can burn down cities in a single bound)?

    Colonel Travis in reply to alaskabob. | February 23, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Hamilton, exactly. I believe they didn’t even allow Whitey to audition for a single part, before the first run?

    These people are absolute lunatics.

    healthguyfsu in reply to alaskabob. | February 23, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    Going forward, whites are only going to be allowed to do the following around blacks:

    -Give them money
    -Apologize to them
    -Get out of their way

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 23, 2021 at 10:38 pm

      Only because whites are putting up with it. I commented in another thread: it’s time for white people to take control of their country back again.

        This isn’t a white country it is an American country and if you feel ethno nationalism is a good thing you are identical to the left and don’t see why you would ever want to stick around here.

        We do need to push back against the racialist ideology that the left has taken up and eliminate that ideology from our society relegating it to the same fringe white supremacy lives in; your own racialist ideology must also be eliminated and remain relegated to the nearly non-existent fringe it owns now.

        We are fighting an ideological not racial battle, your statement appalls me.


        Brave Sir Robbin in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | February 24, 2021 at 12:01 pm

        The Democrats have been pushing ethno-nationalism for decades. They do this to divide us and turn us each against the other. Easier to rule a divided people with mutual animosities.

        Do not fall into this destructive trap. We are all Americans, and can make common cause with all like minded people who care about freedom. The actual “enemy” are not people of different “races,” the idea of “race” is something I utterly reject, it is the people trying to take away your liberties and to control you, which is a government/corporate, that is, fascist consortium that is developing quickly that seeks to rule for the benefit of a narrow corporatist elite.

        People of all “races” can see this, if you shine the light on it, and join our cause. The reason the corporatist elites are pushing so hard for censorship is to dim that light to keep us divided, at each others throats, and more easily ruled and controlled.

        It ain’t about “white” people or “black” people. It’s about Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, George Soros, and the like, who have gained too much power and are attempting to rule the entire world with that power.

        The genius of the American system was the dispersal of power across the political system. But what has occurred is that a group outside this political system has gained and concentrated tremendous power that is detrimental to the whole. It, too, must be dispersed to once again bring equilibrium and dispersal of power to those currently without can gain additional influence in how societal rules and choices are made.

        Hell, let’s place a wealth levy on these guys and give it to “black” Americans. None of their money is getting to me in any event and the fascist corporatists need to be brought down to size. So let’s give “reparations,” by a direct wealth levy against the super rich multi-billionaires. Does George Soros really need more than a billion dollars? It seems he cannot be responsible with his money, and he is definitely not on your side. So let’s see if they will walk the walk. Bet you they will not. I don’t care who gets the money as long as it is not them and not concentrated someplace else.

        There are many things we can do to screw with the fascist cabal. Let’s go full populist on them.

        I never thought I would be saying stuff like advocating a wealth levy, but our success will be based upon our ability to tell friend from foe, and our foe are not “black” people.

          I like the idea of changing policy positions to stop coddling billionaires. Would an idea of keep tax status quo for middle and lower class wage earners, top rate goes back up to pre-Trump tax cuts levels; we use the additional tax revenue to increase child tax subsidies be a good practical interpretation of your idea?

    “What about science fiction?”

    What about the Twilight Zone where an Alzheimer’s patient pretends to be president of the United States by means of virtual reality while some mysterious entity behind the curtain is pulling the levers and doing voice makeovers as the nation is quickly transformed into marxist-socialist repulic?

Antifundamentalist | February 23, 2021 at 8:03 pm

Eventually, the pendulum will swing back toward sanity. I just hope it doesn’t take another decade. We all know that this lunacy is unsustainable in the long run.

The Simpsons sound like 3-dimensional characters. But I have no lived experience in two dimensions, therefore, I really can’t speak to that. So, are they?

This must mean that “Star Wars” will be re-edited to remove James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader. Can’t have a black actor portraying a white character, right?

    George_Kaplan in reply to Joey Williams. | February 23, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    lol. Privilege doesn’t work that way. Women can be men but men mustn’t be cast as women, Blacks can take White roles but it’s whitewashing when the reverse happens. Privilege means they can take, but you can’t.

      healthguyfsu in reply to George_Kaplan. | February 23, 2021 at 9:29 pm

      It’s worse than that. There are woke nazis that are pissed at Star Wars for daring to put a white guy (you know one believably related to Luke Skywalker) under James Earl Jones’s helmet. I mean how racist is that???

    But Darth Vader identifies as black on the outside – black cape and helmet. I think it’s all nonsense.

      Temujin in reply to r2468. | February 24, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      But … the entire Black-White paradigm must be revisited and undone. Daytime & Nighttime must be totally reversed. The dominant workday must begin at 11PM and end at 7AM. Third Shift must be 7AM and end at 3PM. Physics textbooks must be corrected to confess that black is now the presence of all color, instead of the absence of color, and white must be reversed as well. In fact all prisms in existence must be confiscated and retooled or destroyed. All manifestations of the black-white paradigm must be totally reversed in all areas of science, medicine, all the way down to the pool table, where the cue ball must turn black and the eight ball turn white. I don’t know how we will be able to address the electrical wiring code, where Red is Positive and Black is Negative !!!

        UserP in reply to Temujin. | February 24, 2021 at 3:16 pm

        I could’ve wrote that. Well I could’ve, almost. Not as good, but some of it. Maybe I could’ve…….Oh damn you Temujin! That was a good post.

Gonna be super rough for living actors who portray dead characters.

“Moving forward, ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors voice nonwhite character“
Moving forward, the Simpsons will be far less funny. And no more Office. And God forbid anyone listen to Don Rickles or Red Foxx
These woke liberal progressive are humorless intolerant scolds

Well, the Simpsons are yellow so they’re gonna have to quit using white people to do their voices.

They’re so full of crap, it can’t help but come out of their mouths:

Climate activist/actor Matt Damon flies private jet to film movie:

This principle of only playing your own identity seems to negate the basic ideals of acting. So a Black Shakespearean actor can only play one of four roles? That’s terribly limiting.

Did anybody complain when Eddie Murphy dressed up in whiteface to play a NYC Jew in “Coming to America”?

I am so sick of these jerks.

Who did they axe to do the voice?

Colonel Travis: Hamilton, exactly. I believe they didn’t even allow Whitey to audition for a single part, before the first run?

Yeah, just like the musical 1776!

Actually, King George III was originally played by a white actor in Hamilton, Jonathan Groff.

Finally! This “important” move by Fox should finally put an end to all that “systemic” cartoonish racism we are being told exists.
Yay! No more burning and looting and killing!
Thanks for your understanding Harry. You da man!

So, Kevin Michael Richardson does the voice for Slim Possible, a mustached cowboy for Disney.
Maybe Harry could get that gig as a consolation prize in this unending ethnic-racial-what-you-look-like-how-it-makes-you-feel entertainment industry competition.

If there’s an upside, the French appear to have the courage to display annoyance:
“French historian Pierre-André Taguieff says the French people are exasperated by phrases such as “systemic racism’’ and “white privilege,” which he says are an “artificial importation” from America.”

I thought we were trying to grow up and out of this type of prejudice.

Will black people be required to talk like “Black Folk” now? If the replacement voice actor doesn’t speak with an Ebonics accent in real life and the white producers want him to talk more “urban”, won’t that be racist and offensive?

    Philip in reply to DanJ1. | February 24, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Isn’t “ebonics” something designed to segregate the population?
    I was under the false understanding that segregation is not the best way to conduct a successful society.
    Or, maybe “success” is one of those things deemed “unfair” now.

Is it “racist” to suggest that only Asians be used to do the voices for the Simpson family, since they are yellow?