The Simpsons is getting with the times.
Fox Studios said in a statement on Friday: "Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters". With many of these being smaller roles, The Simpsons initially had these actors provide the voices for many different characters.
For now, it remains to be confirmed which historian will take over the former member of Los Borbotones, as well as the distinct characters of color who until now had the voice of a white actor.
After the news, many people are wondering if Apu's character will be taken out of new episodes of The Simpson's entirely, or whether he will remain in the show. Richardson now voices numerous show's African American characters.
Earlier this year, Azaria announced his departure from the show following increasing controversy.
In his doc, Kondabolu interviewed celebrities of South Asian descent, including Aziz Ansari and Kal Penn, to discuss how characterizations like Apu can be viewed as racism.
Azaria later that month told the host of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that he'd be happy to step aside from Apu and disagreed with how the show handled the criticism.
It follows the decision made by voice actor Hank Azaria to stop playing Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.
The announcement comes after a widespread conversation on USA pop culture and racism following mass protests over the police brutality against the former footballer George Floyd.
The newly announced change should impact a number of key figures around Springfield. For example, Dr. Hibbert, always played by Harry Shearer. Some are more ready than others. "I hope that I can actively and meaningfully contribute to ending this and other kinds of systemic oppression, and in a way that lessens this burden for People of Color, who for far too long have been tasked with dismantling it themselves".
There are big changes to the production of popular animated series The Simpsons, and they might have predicted this happening too.
Similarly, actor Mike Henry posted on social media that he was stepping down from voicing a Black character on Fox's Family Guy called Cleveland Brown.
Both "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons" are long-running animated comedies.