‘The Simpsons’ Actor Harry Shearer Hears “Folk Say The Show Has Become Woke” After He Stopped Voicing Dr. Hibbert


Harry Shearer voices many characters on The Simpsons and was recently replaced as the voice of Dr. Hibbert.

In 2020, producers decided to have no longer white actors voice characters of color, a decision which also made Hank Azaria retire from voicing Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

Shearer recently reflected on the change and who inspired Dr. Hibbert’s voice.

“Folk say the show has become woke in recent years and one of my characters has been affected,” Shearer said on The Times of London. “I voiced the Black physician, Dr. Hibbert, who I based on Bill Cosby. Back then he was known as the ‘whitest Black man on television.’ Then, a couple of years ago, I received an email saying they’d employed a Black actor, who then copied my voice. The result is a Black man imitating a white man imitating the whitest Black man on TV.”

Kevin Michael Richardson took over the role of Dr. Hibbert in 2021. Shearer still voices Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Rainier Wolfcastle, and Kent Brockman, among many more.

RELATED: ‘The Simpsons’ Co-Creator Says Homer Will Keep On Strangling Bart: “Nothing’s Getting Tamed”

Shearer also said he “wasn’t sure about joining The Simpsons in 1989,” as “voice actors are usually given a script after the animation is completed.”

“I took the job because it was the other way around,” he added. “I play more than 20 characters but the evil nuclear power plant owner, Mr. Burns, is a favorite. I styled his voice on Ronald Reagan.”

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