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The Simpsons bring on black actor Alex Desert to voice Carl Carlson replacing Hank Azaria

Written by on September 25, 2020

Producers on Fox’s long-running animated series The Simpsons announced in June that they will no longer have white actors voicing black characters, though today it’s been revealed who will voice one of the show’s longest-running black characters.

Alex Desert (Swingers, High Fidelity) has come aboard to voice Carl Carlson, one of Homer Simpson’s longtime co-workers at the Springfield Power Plant.

While Harry Shearer voiced Carl in his very first appearance in the Season 1 episode Homer’s Night Out, Hank Azaria, a white voice actor like Shearer, has voiced Carl ever since.

Carl voice: Producers on Fox’s long-running animated series The Simpsons announced in June that they will no longer have white actors voicing black characters, though today it’s been revealed who will voice one of the show’s longest-running Black characters

Voice actor: Alex Desert (Swingers, High Fidelity) has come aboard to voice Carl Carlson, one of Homer Simpson’s longtime co-workers at the Springfield Power Plant

Desert replaces Azaria as Carl Carson in at least the Season 32 premiere of The Simpsons, which debuts Sunday, September 27 on Fox.

There is no indication that Desert is becoming a permanent fixture on the cast, or if he will voice multiple characters on the show. 

Another black character on The Simpsons, is seen in the Season 32 premiere, though he does not speak, who has traditionally been voiced by Azaria as well and may be voiced by Desert or another black actor under this new initiative.

Replacing Hank: Desert replaces Hank Azaria as Carl Carson in at least the Season 32 premiere of The Simpsons, which debuts Sunday, September 27 on Fox

The Season 32 premiere, entitled Undercover Burns, features power plant owner Montgomery Burns going undercover (voiced by David Harbour) at his own plant as ‘Fred’ to see how his own employees think of him, including Carl.

When all of the employees start to befriend ‘Fred,’ Mr. Burns starts improving the plant’s amenities, which doesn’t sit well with his longtime right-hand man Smithers.

Azaria also revealed in January that he would no longer voice the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, though it has not been confirmed who will replace him. 

Hank steps down: Azaria also revealed in January that he would no longer voice the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, though it has not been confirmed who will replace him

There was even a 2017 documentary entitled The Problem With Apu by comedian/filmmaker Hari Kondabolu, where other South Asian actors like Aziz Ansari, Kal Penn and Maulik Pancholy discuss who Apu impacted their lives.

Kevin Michael Richardson (American Dad) has come aboard in recent years to voice several black characters, though there is no indication if more black voice actors will be brought aboard.

The Simpsons is one of several animated shows that has come under fire in recent months, with several white actors stepping down from voicing characters of color. 

Under fire: The Simpsons is one of several animated shows that has come under fire in recent months, with several white actors stepping down from voicing characters of color

Other animated shows have had white actors step down from voicing diverse roles, like Mike Henry stepping down from voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, Alison Brie stepping away from Vietnamese-American writer Diane Nguyen on BoJack Horseman and Kristen Bell as Molly on Apple TV Plus’ Central Park. 

Jenny Slate also stepped down as Missy on Netflix’s Big Mouth, who will now be voiced by Ayo Edebiri.  

Emily Raver-Lampman will now play Molly in Season 2 of Central Park, and BoJack Horseman has already ended its run on Netflix.

Desert has voiced Jefferson Davis and Swarm on the animated Spider-Man series and he has also had voice roles on Momma Named Me Sheriff and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Nick Fury.

Stepping down: Other animated shows have had white actors step down from voicing colored roles, like Mike Henry stepping down from voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, Alison Brie stepping away from Vietnamese-American writer Diane Nguyen on BoJack Horseman and Kristen Bell as Molly on Apple TV Plus’ Central Park

Voice veteran: Desert has voiced Jefferson Davis and Swarm on the animated Spider-Man series and he has also had voice roles on Momma Named Me Sheriff and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Nick Fury

This content was originally published here.


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