US animated series The Simpsons has decided not to use white actor for the voices of characters belonging to other ethnic backgrounds.
The show’s producers say that they have faced years of criticism over the selection of white actor Hank Azaria’s voiceover of Indian-American character Apu.
The announcement came in wake of the protests against killing of black man George Floyd. Thousands of people in the US and other countries protested for justice under the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.
“Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” the producers said in a short statement.
Mr. Azaria earlier in January announced that he was stepping down from his character of Indian convenience store owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. He had played this role since the character was made in 1990.
He had said, “We all made the decision together… We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing,”
The show has been accused of promoting racism.
Mr. Azaria had provided the voice of other characters, including black police officer Lou and the Mexican-American Bumblebee Man. He said that he found it “very upsetting to me personally and professionally” that anyone felt marginalised because of Apu.
Other white US actors, including Mike Henry and Kristen Bell, are also yet to announce that they will step back from their role.
Mike Henry tweeted on Friday, “I love this character, but persons of colour should play characters of colour,”
Ms. Bell said, “Casting a mixed race character [with a] white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race and Black American experience,”