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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 3 March 2021

'The Simpsons': Kevin Michael Richardson to voice Dr Hibbert on the show

After 30 years, Harry Shearer will no longer voice the character on the long-running animated show

Black voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson will now voice the character of 'The Simpsons's Dr Hibbert going forward. Alamy
Black voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson will now voice the character of 'The Simpsons's Dr Hibbert going forward. Alamy

He’s known for his distinctive chuckle on The Simpsons, but after 30 years, the character of Dr Hibbert will now be voiced by a new actor.

Harry Shearer, who has voiced the black family doctor since 1990, has recorded his final episode as the character. From Sunday, Kevin Michael Richardson, a black voice actor, will take over the role on the long-running animated show.

The recasting comes after producers for The Simpsons said in June 2020 that white actors would no longer play non-white characters. In the past, Hank Azaria voiced Indian character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon for years. In January 2020, he stepped down from the role, although a replacement has not been named. Azaria has also been replaced as the voice of Carl Carlson by black voice actor Alex Desert.

In the past, Shearer gone on record saying he disagrees with the show’s stance on recasting.

“I have a very simple belief about acting,” he said in an interview with Times Radio. “The job of the actor is to play someone who they’re not.” Shearer also added that he thinks “there’s a conflation between representation, which is important,” adding, “People from all backgrounds should be represented in the writing and producing ends of the business so they help decide what stories to tell and with what knowledge … The job is playing someone I’m not.”

Shearer has also voiced Mr Burns, Ned Flanders, Mr Smithers, Principal Skinner and many more characters since the show first debuted in 1989.

Updated: February 23, 2021 06:07 PM

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