The Simpsons confirms Carl Carlson recasting for season 32

Chris Edwards
·2 min read
Photo credit: Fox
Photo credit: Fox

From Digital Spy

The Simpsons has announced the recasting of another classic character for season 32.

Homer's co-worker and friend Carl Carlson, who was previously voiced by long-time cast member Hank Azaria, will now be played by Alex Desert.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

As well as appearing in a wide range of TV shows over the years, including the Ted Danson-led Becker, Boy Meets World and Better Things, Desert has also lent his voice to animations such as Spider-Man, Mr Pickles and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Back in June, Fox released a statement confirming that The Simpsons "will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters". Shortly before this, Azaria stepped down from the role of Apu, although he wasn't the only non-white character the actor voiced.

Photo credit: Fox
Photo credit: Fox

The character has been at the centre of controversy ever since the 2017 documentary The Problem with Apu, which addressed how the shopkeeper is presented as an Indian stereotype.

While it's yet to be announced who will now voice the character, producer Al Jean previously told the Radio Times: "If we were casting the character now, we'd cast someone who was ethnically correct to play Apu.

"The way we always wrote him, though, was as a hardworking, thoughtful family man who was smarter than everyone else in Springfield. The majority of the jokes were about Springfield not appreciating what a gem he is. So we're proud of him."

Photo credit: Getty Images - Fox
Photo credit: Getty Images - Fox

Azaria also opened up about how the producers "granted his wish" to step away from the role after realising the character was viewed as s negative stereotype.

"Once I realised that that was the way this character was thought of, I just didn't want to participate in it anymore" he said. "It just didn't feel right."

In light of the Black Lives Matter movement and calls for greater representation and diversity, various white actors have stepped away from their PoC roles in animations, including Mike Henry as Cleveland/Consuela (Family Guy), Kristen Bell as Molly (Central Park) and Jenny Slate as Missy (Big Mouth).

The Simpsons is now available to watch on Disney+ in the US and the UK.

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