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The Simpsons’ Matt Groening ‘didn’t see a problem with white actors voicing non-white characters’

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matt groening
The Simpsons creator has spoken out about white actors voicing non-white roles (Picture: Getty)

The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening has spoken out his casting of white actors to voice non-white roles – saying he ‘didn’t have a problem with it’. 

The much-loved series has come under fire for allowing white characters to portray roles of different ethnicities, most notably Hank Azaria portraying Indian shop owner Apu. 

The Fox Network, that run the show, have since announced at all non-white characters will be revoiced. 

This week alone, it was announced that Harry Shearer would no longer play Doctor Hibbert, the Black doctor, and the role would be taken over by Kevin Michael Richardson. 

Speaking on BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, Matt said that he understood the need for change, but originally didn’t see the problem. 

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He said: ‘Times change, but I actually didn’t have a problem with the way we were doing it.

Harry Shearer Dr Hibbert The Simpsons
Harry Shearer was replaced as Dr Hibbert this week (Picture: Fox/Getty)

‘All of our actors play dozens of characters each, it was never designed to exclude anyone.’ 

‘Bigotry and racism are still an incredible problem and it’s good to finally go for more equality and representation,’ he added. 

Launching in 1989, The Simpsons is now in its 32nd season with more than 700 episodes, but hasn’t been without its controversies. 

The Simpsons star Hank Azaria as Apu
Hank Azaria quit playing Apu (PIcture: Fox/Getty)

Even in 2018, the writers seemed to poke fun at the scandals surrounding the show, with character Lisa looking down the barrel of the camera and stating: ‘Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?’ 

But 67-year-old Matt has said that he doesn’t let the criticism get to him. 

‘At a certain point it doesn’t matter what you say. You’re going to be attacked by whoever, you know? Honestly, that doesn’t affect me at all,’ he said. 

‘We’re not going out of our way to comfort bigots. On the other hand, if you do any kind of gesture and people perceive a weakness, you’ll be criticised.’ 

BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat is live at 12:45 and 5.45pm weekdays and on BBC Sounds.

The Simpsons is available on Disney Plus.

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MORE : The Simpsons’ black character Dr. Hibbert will no longer be voiced by white actor Harry Shearer

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