“Simpsons” actor Harry Shearer criticized the show’s decision to stop hiring white actors to voice non-white characters.
Shearer’s remarks were noted in a report published Tuesday by the Daily Mail.
The Simpsons’ Harry Shearer breaks silence on white voiceover backlash https://t.co/VYot4BJrIU
— The Independent (@Independent) August 4, 2020
“I have a very simple belief about acting,” Shearer said. “The job of the actor is to play someone who they are not.”
“That’s the gig, that’s the job description,” he added.
Shearer previously voiced the black character Dr. Julius Hibbert. He also voices other characters including Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders and Waylon Smithers on the show. He claimed the decision wouldn’t affect his paycheck too seriously.
“We don’t get paid by the voice,” Shearer said. (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Did The ‘The Simpsons’ Predict The Death Of George Floyd In A 1990s Episode?)
The “Simpsons” producers announced the decision to stop casting white actors for non-white characters in June following the death of George Floyd.
NEW: “Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.” The Simpsons has released a statement on casting for non-white characters that will affect the voices of such popular Black characters on the show pic.twitter.com/92HF4Dxdep
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) June 26, 2020
“Moving forward, ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” producers said in a statement at the time, according to the BBC.
Hank Azaria previously stepped down from voicing the role of the Indian character Apu.
“I’ve given this a lot of thought — really a lot of thought — and, as I say, my eyes have been opened,” Azaria said at the time, according to Fox News. “And I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country, when they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it has been… Listening to voices means inclusion in the writers’ room.”