Tag: Hank Azaria

Wendell Pierce Wants To Be New Voice of ‘Family Guy”s Cleveland

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In response to recent re-evaluations of casting choices for racially specific animated characters, Mike Henry has stepped down from the role of Cleveland Brown on Family Guy and The Cleveland Show after 20 years of voicing the character.

While it's undecided who will be taking over the role moving forward, Wendell Pierce has thrown his hat in the ring via Twitter. Check out his post below, where he says he is "starting a campaign" to voice Cleveland in future episodes of The Cleveland Show:

Not every actor has the guts to publicly declare the wish to play a certain role, so Pierce gets points for that alone. Not to mention, he's quite accomplished as an actor.

Known best for his roles in the critically-acclaimed drama series The Wire, Treme, and Suits, Pierce has racked up some pretty impressive credits. He's more than qualified to take over the voice of Cleveland, and he's a big enough Family Guy fan to know how to do it just right.

The news of Henry departing from the role of an African American character is just one of the many examples of animated series recasting characters to be ethnically correct. Hank Azaria of The Simpsons will no longer be voicing Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu, and Jenny Slate has resigned from her role of Missy, who is bi-racial.

No recasting decisions for The Cleveland Show have been made yet, but as Pierce's tweet gains momentum, who knows? Fox may have found their new Cleveland.

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‘The Simpsons’: White Actors Won’t Voice Non-White Characters

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After years of controversy, The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria recently confirmed that he would no longer provide the voice of Apu, the Indian-born proprietor of Springfield’s Kwik-E-Mart. Apu is hardly the only non-white character on The Simpsons voiced by a white actor, though — or at least he wasn’t until today. In a statement, Fox announced that “moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.”

The move could have an impact on the show’s supporting cast. Azaria also voiced Bumblebee Man, the pratfall-prone star of a Spanish-language sitcom (who always wears a bumblebee costume), and Carl, one of Homer’s drinking buddies at Moe’s Tavern and co-workers at the power plant. Harry Shearer voiced Dr. Hibbert, the town’s genial doctor. The entire main Simpsons cast is white, which would mean the show would have to bring in new actors to voice these characters (or other non-white characters) in the future.

The Simpsons’ announcement comes as numerous streaming services have pulled down episodes of popular shows like 30 Rock that contain examples of blackface, and after other white voice actors announced they would stop voicing their non-white characters, including Jenny Slate from Netflix’s Big Mouth. That’s a relatively new show, of course; The Simpsons has been on the air since 1989. The show is expected to return for its 32nd season in the fall.

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