“The Simpsons” producers said Friday they will recast all of their characters of color, while a longtime “Family Guy” actor said he will step down from his role as Cleveland Brown.
In a statement on Friday, “The Simpsons” creators said, “Moving forward, ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.”
“The Simpsons” has been on the air since 1989, and features several non-white characters voiced by white actors, including Harry Shearer, who plays Dr. Julius Hibbert, and Carlton Carlson Jr., played by Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer.
The show has been met with heavy criticism over the years for its character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian immigrant convenience store owner, who was also played by Azaria. Azaria announced in January that he will no longer play the character.
Mike Henry, who is white, has played Cleveland Brown on “Family Guy,” since the show was created in 1999. He announced on Twitter that he is stepping down from his long-time role.
“I love this character,” Henry wrote, “but persons of color should play persons of color.”