The Simpsons has found its new voice of Dr. Julius Hibbert in Kevin Michael Richardson.
According to Deadline, The Simpsons have chosen to recast the voice of the character of Dr. Julius Hibbert in an effort to ensue that white actors no longer voice Black characters.
The character of Dr. Hibbert, which first debuted on the long-running adult animated comedy over three decades ago, will now be voiced by Emmy nominated voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson.
Richardson takes over the role from Harry Shearer, who originated the voice of Dr. Hibbert.
Shearer’s last performance as Dr. Hibbert came with Sunday night’s “Dairy Queen” episode— but that doesn’t mean fans won’t still hear Shearer voicing some other iconic Simpsons characters going forward.
The actor will continue to lend his voice to the characters of Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and Mr. Burns.
As for Richardson, the Family Guy vet will take over voicing Dr. Julius Hibbert beginning with The Simpson’s February 28 episode.
The long-running Fox series isn’t the only animated comedy making moves to ensure its Black characters are voiced by Black actors.
Other animated series that have recast roles in light of 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement include Netflix’s Big Mouth and Apple’s Central Park. In addition, The Simpsons’ casting shuffle comes on the heels of Fox announcing that Family Guy had also chosen to recast the voice of Cleveland Brown back in September 2020.
The Simpsons airs Sundays on Fox.