The Simpsons replaces Harry Shearer with Kevin Michael Richardson as new voice of Dr. Hibbert

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Dan Snierson
·2 min read
The Simpsons replaces Harry Shearer with Kevin Michael Richardson as new voice of Dr. Hibbert
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Hank Azaria Talks About How Simpsons' Apu Controversy 'Inspired' Him To Look Into Racial Issues

Azaria encourages others to "learn as much as possible" about the history of racism in this country

Last summer, The Simpsons announced that white actors would no longer voice non-white characters. This Sunday, you will meet the new version of Dr. Hibbert.

Harry Shearer, who is white, voiced Dr. Hibbert for the last time in last night's episode of the animated Fox comedy. He had been playing the role of the good-natured doctor since season 2. In the Feb. 28 episode, titled "Wad Goals," Kevin Michael Richardson assumes the role permanently, a representative for The Simpsons confirmed on Monday. Richardson is a veteran actor with a deep resume in animation (Adventure Time, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and he has been voicing smaller characters on The Simpsons for more than a decade.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images; FOX; Jo Hale/Redferns

You will be able to hear plenty of Shearer in Springfield, though. Among his voices on the animated comedy are Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and Kent Brockman.

Last year, Hank Azaria confirmed that he was parting ways with Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Azaria, who voices many characters on the series as well, said at the time, "We all feel like it's the right thing and good about it." Other animated comedies have assessed their portrayal of characters of color during the national conversation about race and representation amplified by the Black Lives Matter movement. Mike Henry exited his two-decade role as Family Guy's Cleveland and was replaced by Arif Zahir. Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell stepped down from their bi-racial roles on Netflix comedy Big Mouth and Apple TV+'s Central Park, respectively.

Vulture first reported the recasting news.

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