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Kevin Michael Richardson Taking Over The Simpsons’ Dr. Hibbert

dr. hibbert

The growing discussion about systemic racism in America has opened debate about whether or not it’s appropriate to have cartoon characters of color be voiced by white people (it isn’t). Currently running cartoons that committed this error in the past are now correcting it, recasting POC actors in the roles of their respective characters. The latest change: Dr. Julius Hibbert on The Simpsons.

For the past thirty-plus years Hibbert has been voiced by Harry Shearer, an actor who voiced several other POC characters on The Simpsons, and now regrets it. In his place henceforth will be Kevin Michael Richardson as the deep-voiced, chuckling doctor. The change must have been made months ago and unannounced before this point, because the first Richardson-as-Hibbert episode of The Simpsons airs on February 28, less than one week from now.

Richardson is one of the most prolific voice actors of the last twenty years, and it’s difficult to find a recently-made cartoon that doesn’t have his voice somewhere in it. His career began back in the 90s with roles on Pinky and The Brain and The Powerpuff Girls, and he went on to voice characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Family Guy, American Dad, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and countless others. He’s no stranger to The Simpsons either, having voiced bit parts in various episodes since 2009.

Other recast Shearer characters include Carl, now voiced by Alex Desert…and possibly Apu, though the official announcement has yet to be made (he’s been silent for months now). The Simpsons’ neighboring show Family Guy did some recent recasting of its own, replacing Mike Henry with Arif Zahir as the voice of Cleveland Brown. Elsewhere, Netflix’s Big Mouth recast Missy from Jenny Slate to Ayo Edibiri, and Apple TV’s Central Park will be swapping Kristen Bell for Emmy Raver-Lampman as Molly when its second season premieres soon.


  1. I was wondering who took over Dr. Hibbert from the VERY first episode this season that aired in the fall. Dr. Hibbert made a brief appearance and spoke, but Google didn’t know anything about the recast and just said Harry Shearer was Dr. Hibbert. For every appearance Dr. Hibbert made in the fall, I looked for news about his recast and turned up zip!

  2. Also, Carl was voiced by Hank Azaria and NOT Harry Shearer. If someone were to take over Apu, it would NOT be Alex Desert since the whole point of the movie, The Problem with Apu, was to have Apu voiced by someone of Indian descent and not someone pretending to have an Indian accent.

    The last I heard, Shearer was NOT okay with the recasting since supposedly voice actors can play anyone they choose regardless of race. I know at least 2 other voice actors have this opinion as well saying it’s okay as long as they don’t mock the accent or voice. I myself don’t think that’s okay being a minority myself, but it’s hard to voice this opinion as a minority not wanting to upset the ‘mainstream’ (i.e. white actors) who feel differently. They have to reach this opinion by themselves in order for it to be accepted.