'Simpsons' Actor Harry Shearer Claims People Say the Show "Has Become Woke"

He made the claims in relation to him no longer playing Dr. Hibbert

BY Sydney BrasilPublished May 15, 2024

Harry Shearer is one of The Simpsons' most prolific voice actors, playing over 20 characters including Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Waylon Smithers and Kent Brockman, among others. Despite playing many of the show's most-loved figures, he's implied that he might still be a bit salty about no longer voicing another.

Up until 2020, Shearer also voiced the Black character Dr. Hibbert until The Simpsons' producers committed to not having white people voice non-white characters. In a recent interview with The Times of London, the voice actor hinted that this may be one of the reasons why Gen-X centrists claim the show has lost its edge.

"Folk say the show has become woke in recent years and one of my characters has been affected," Shearer said. "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.'"

He continued: "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."

Saying The Simpsons has "gone woke" is a pretty bold statement, especially considering producer Al Jean is "nervous" about cancel culture and the show created its own outrage over a fabrication that Homer doesn't strangle Bart anymore. Just a head's up that we're indeed all still allowed to make jokes, it just helps if they're actually funny!

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