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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:32 am 
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CNN is reporting that the producers of "The Simpsons" will, effective immediately, no longer use white actors to play non-white characters.

This follows the controversy regarding Kwik-E-Mart manager Apu and how, in 2017, a documentary entitled "The Problem with Apu" brought the character and its racial stereotypes into the limelight. In addition, back in January of 2020, voice actor Hank Azaria announced that he would be stepping away from the character.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:42 am 
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Ridiculous. You can complain about how a character is portrayed if you want, but I have a problem with the core of the issue, which is voice actors playing other races. For me its no different than when you have women playing young boys. or the many other examples of voice actors playing against type. It happens all the time because it shouldnt matter, they're behind the mic, no one sees them.

I do have a problem with, for example, who they cast as Ariel in the upcoming movie, but its a completely different thing when it comes to voice acting.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:09 am 
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I think this happened to Kristen Bell recently as well because she was cast for the role of a Black character or maybe it was a biracial character in an animated show. She got a lot of props for giving up the role but frankly, she should have known better than to accept it in the first place. I don't think she should be applauded at all for something she never should have done especially in the current political climate. Kristen Bell's public comments and actions over the last few years have frankly really annoyed me and pissed off a lot of people.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:45 am 
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Same thing happened with the Netflix show Big Mouth: Jenny Slate played Black-Jewish character Jessi and she's stepping down as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:28 am 
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Family Guy is doing the same too. I just hope they make an effort to find new voice actors who can mimic the established sound of the characters as much as possible. Otherwise, the change will be too jarring.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:37 am 
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So weird to me that this is “Disney” news now.

But it’s good news. We don’t live in a utopia where everyone gets the same opportunities as everyone else, so steps like this are important. More high profile voice acting jobs are now available for voice actors of color.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:42 am 
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It's strange to me that in 2020 this is still an issue...like we would have made great strides in casting appropriately by now. I know that Disney has become better about that in our lifetimes...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:03 am 
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Black actors have voiced characters from all races as well.

It´s animation. Another thing would be if a white actor would take a black character role on live action (and vicecersa...another reason why race bending shouldn´t happen in comic book movies either -unless it´s a forgotten character-).

Think about it.

Would these people demand that the same happens when the shows air in countries were there aren´t black people/actors? Or what about when ANY movie/series air dubbed on another country?

Do you see the absurdity? As long as people keep complaining and demanding nonsense stuff it´s never going to end.

What society is doing is self-segregation. Serioulsy? Didn´t society left behind that?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:20 am 
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DC Fan wrote:
It´s animation. Another thing would be if a white actor would take a black character role on live action

Why is it “another thing”? Why should white performers not be allowed to play people of color in live action media, but white performers should be allowed to take jobs and income away from people of color in animation?

Hank Azaria probably owns 5 houses. He’ll be fine. Let a Black guy play Carl and make some money and build a portfolio, too.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:37 am 
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I´m talking if there was historical figure or a character who´s black. If that character was played by a white actor that, of course, shouldn´t happen.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:00 pm 
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My main issue with this is that the voices for a lot of the POC characters on The Simpsons are way too iconic to be replaced. It wasn’t such an issue when the show started or until that stupid “documentary”. Why is it an issue now?? :(


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:44 pm 
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I'll be taking UmbrellaFish's side here. I'm the first person to complain about excess political correctness, and yes I do believe people of any race should be able to play characters of other races in animation (that's the whole deal with acting after all.)

However, as I explained on the Cartoon Research FB group, right now the need to raise awareness on black voice actors' diminished work opportunities takes precedence over the aforementioned principle (which I still believe in.)

As a result I don't mind these actors being replaced especially if it's their own decision. Who am I to question how they feel?

Hopefully someday everybody will be able to play anybody without such issues.

Also, please don't judge people like Bell so harshly. We are human. We make mistakes. We learn from our mistakes.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:11 pm 
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UmbrellaFish wrote:
DC Fan wrote:
It´s animation. Another thing would be if a white actor would take a black character role on live action

Why is it “another thing”? Why should white performers not be allowed to play people of color in live action media, but white performers should be allowed to take jobs and income away from people of color in animation?

Hank Azaria probably owns 5 houses. He’ll be fine. Let a Black guy play Carl and make some money and build a portfolio, too.

They're voices, the whole idea behind voice acting is that it doesn't matter what you look like or your background, all that should matter is "can this person sound like the character they are portraying?
Voice acting is inherently color blind. I've heard many studios dont even want to see the person auditioning, they dont want it to effect their decision.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:53 pm 
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They’re not just voices, they’re money and power. Here, look:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... st_members

https://simpsons.fandom.com/wiki/Cast_a ... -app=false

Assuming these two lists combined represent a complete picture— it means that over a 30 year history, by my count, only two people of color have ever been a member of the main or recurring cast of The Simpsons. If they’re casting blind, clearly they’re only listening for one type of voice.

And that’s a big problem. The Simpsons have now identified the problem and they’re doing their part to fix it. It’s a good thing. And just like we got used to seeing ladies on stages, we’ll get used to hearing Black people playing Black people in animation.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:11 pm 
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I agree with UmbrellaFish. Listen, it’s hard for black people to get work in Hollywood. It’s a slap in the face when there’s a black character and a white person, who has a better chance of getting other jobs, would get the job of voicing a black character. It’s 2020. Hard to believe this has to be explained to anyone for it to make sense. What’s right is right no matter how you try to frame the narrative. Also, Kristen Bell shouldn’t have played the role in the first place. All these white people that voice black or biracial characters shouldn’t have accepted in the first place.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:05 pm 
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I see both sides of the discussion, although I do agree more or less with UmbrellaFish. I think moving forward companies need to try harder to have a Black character voiced by a Black actor and so on, and actors should accept the criticism and turn down the roles when the public lets them know it's not okay. And companies also need to work on there being more types of roles in the first place--that aren't just stereotypes on a comedy show. The part I don't agree with--and I'm not going to agree with--is raging at people who took a part in the past that is now "problematic" in this moment. Criticizing is one thing, but acting like they should be exiled is another. :lol: That would also mean I'd have to rake a lot of actors over the coals who took LGBT roles in the past despite not being LGBT and I have absolutely no plans to do so.

I can't help but laugh when people say "It's 2020," like that has any meaning at all. Trump is president. What part of all this did y'all miss the train on? It's best to accept the world is always going to be full of evil, even if this were the year 3000. You can only continue forward.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:38 pm 
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tsom wrote:
I agree with UmbrellaFish. Listen, it’s hard for black people to get work in Hollywood. It’s a slap in the face when there’s a black character and a white person, who has a better chance of getting other jobs, would get the job of voicing a black character. It’s 2020. Hard to believe this has to be explained to anyone for it to make sense. What’s right is right no matter how you try to frame the narrative. Also, Kristen Bell shouldn’t have played the role in the first place. All these white people that voice black or biracial characters shouldn’t have accepted in the first place.

100% agree with all of this which is why I don't understand the train of mostly white people praising Kristen Bell like she's some saint.

I'd also like to add that Disney is still very problematic about this in their recent films. Look at Frozen II and how Iduna is no longer white but POC yet her voice actress was still very white. If they truly cared about representation, Evan Rachel Wood would not have been voicing Iduna especially since she was hired specifically for Frozen II.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:46 pm 
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Yeah, 2020 is straight-up kooky dooks, but what I at least meant when I mentioned 2020 is that racial inequality has been fought for decades now, and I'm surprised just now casting in animation is having this "breakthrough." I would have thought it would have happened a long time ago. Like, Pocahontas was 25 years ago, I think Disney started making strides with that film (but yes, Iduna shows that we're not 100% "there")...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:01 pm 
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blackcauldron85 wrote:
Yeah, 2020 is straight-up kooky dooks, but what I at least meant when I mentioned 2020 is that racial inequality has been fought for decades now, and I'm surprised just now casting in animation is having this "breakthrough." I would have thought it would have happened a long time ago. Like, Pocahontas was 25 years ago, I think Disney started making strides with that film (but yes, Iduna shows that we're not 100% "there")...

I remember when the live-action BATB came out, there was some bigwig Disney executive (I can't remember who. Maybe it was Iger) who said how proud he was of this film because it's the first time a live-action Disney film has portrayed an interracial couple kissing. When I read that here I was absolutely horrified that it wasn't until 2017 that Disney featured an interracial kiss between two real actors. I have no idea how whoever that man was could be proud that it's taken this long for that to happen.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:24 pm 
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^ That's a good point. I think there are a lot of "wow, I can't believe it took this long" moments, whether it's John Henry, Dr. Sweet, & Tiana being the first main Black characters, to I guess LeFou being the first main gay character (?)* in 2017, and the interracial kiss that you mentioned (that I wasn't aware about)...It's kind of surprising that it's taken until the 21st Century to be more inclusive. But of course better late than never.

*I know with Good Luck, Charlie and maybe Finding Dory and I know you've mentioned Andi Mack, and Love, Simon, & HSM:TM:TS they're just cracking the surface of having gay characters, so hopefully we'll have more.

I just like the idea of more people being represented. It's a different level, but I remember when B&tB came out when I was 6- I was so happy to have a princess with brown hair. And that's just hair color. So I think it's important to see people like each of us on the screen...

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