American News Feb 22, 2021 9:57 PM EST

Harry Shearer will no longer play black character on The Simpsons

Harry Shearer, voice actor for The Simpsons, has stepped down from his role as Dr. Hibbert, an African-American doctor.

Harry Shearer will no longer play black character on The Simpsons
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Harry Shearer, voice actor for The Simpsons, has stepped down from his role as Dr. Hibbert, an African-American doctor.

“Last night’s episode ‘DiaryQueen’ featured Harry Shearer as the voice of Dr. Hibbert for the last time. “Next Sunday’s episode ‘Wad Goals’ will have Kevin Michael Richardson voicing Dr. Hibbert — and from there on out he will voice the character.” read a statement from The Simpsons to The Wrap.

Shearer is being replaced by Kevin Michael Richardson, an actor who is African-American.

Shearer is best known for his portrayals of Ned Flanders and Principal Skinner.

Last year, Hank Azaria announced that he will no longer provide the voice for beloved Simpsons character Apu after backlash from the social justice set.

“Once I realized that that was the way this character was thought of,” Azaria said to The New York Times last year, “I just didn’t want to participate in it anymore. It just didn’t feel right.”

Last June, The Simpsons announced that the would no longer cast white actors in "non-white" roles. “Moving forward, ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors voice nonwhite characters,” a statement read at the time.

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