The popular animated series “The Simpsons” announced this Friday its decision that, from now on, the characters that appear on screen will be dubbed by people of the race they represent and not exclusively by white actors.
The matter is widely discussed in the United States, since in the animation genre a significant number of African-American, Latino or Asian characters are dubbed by white actors, as in the case of Apu in “The Simpsons” or Cleveland in “Family Guy” .
In fact, before the wave of anti-racist protests that has swept the country in the past month, the actor who voiced Apu, Hank Azaria, withdrew from the series after working more than 30 years on the role.
The movement was fueled by a documentary titled “The Problem With Apu” that pointed out certain stereotypes on television and criticized how a white man gave voice to a popular Asian character, reflected poorly, with a strong accent and employed a store of convenience.
“It has opened my eyes, I think the most important thing is that we have to listen to the people of South Asia, people from India who live in this country when they talk about what they feel, how they think about this character and what he is his experience in the US, “the actor admitted in 2018 during an interview on a late-night television show.
Other interpreters made a similar decision. For example, Mike Henry assured this Friday that he will not give voice to Cleveland again, an African American character from “Family Guy” who had his own television series on “The Cleveland Show”.
Likewise, actresses Kristen Bell -Molly in “Central Park” – and Jenny Slate -Missy in “Big Mouth” – confirmed that they would not double the number of African American teenagers who interpreted because, “from their privilege”, they were eliminating the possibility of a real representation.