- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2020

“The Simpsons” confirmed it recast the role of Carl Carlson, a Black character voiced for decades by a White actor, for the season premiere of the long-running animated sitcom airing on Fox this Sunday.

Alex Désert has replaced Hank Azaria as the voice of Carl in the episode, “The Simpsons” confirmed in a statement, following through with a recent pledge to stop having White actors voice non-White characters.

Spokespeople for the show declined to say if the role change is permanent or if others would follow.

Mr. Azaria, 56, has voiced several characters on “The Simpsons” since the show’s first season, including Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy and, until recently, Indian-American shopkeep Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

He announced in January that he was done after decades of voicing Apu, a heavily accented convenience store clerk, and after previously expressing remorse for his part in perpetuating racist stereotypes.

Five months later, “The Simpsons” announced in-between seasons that it would be recasting Black characters including Carl, Dr. Julius Hibert and others voiced by White actors.

“Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” the show said in a statement in June.

Mr. Désert, 52, has previously appeared in several popular TV shows and films, in addition to voicing characters in animated series including “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and “Spider-Man.”

Variety first reported “The Simpsons” news Thursday. Fox is set to start airing the show’s 32nd season on Sunday.

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