Kevin Michael Richardson (Lilo & Stitch, Young Justice), a veteran black voice actor, will replace white voice actor Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind) as Dr. Hibbert in The Simpsons, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This replacement comes after the 2020 news that Hank Azaria (Free Agents, The Birdcage), a white actor, would no longer voice Apu, an Indian convenience store owner, in the series, which is part of The Simpsons crew’s larger intent to no longer have white actors voice any non-white characters, according to BBC.
Shearer has voiced numerous characters beyond Dr. Hibbert, but Sunday’s episode will be the last to feature him in the role, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Shearer will continue in his roles as Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and Principal Skinner, according to BBC.
Richardson’s first episode voicing Dr. Hibbert will air Feb. 28, but the actor is no stranger to The Simpsons, already having credits on more than 70 episodes of the series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Previously, other roles have been recast to be more inclusive, including Alex Désert as Homer’s co-worker Carl Carlson and Jenny Yokobori as Kumiko Albertson, Comic Book Guy’s wife, according to The Hollywood Reporter.