'The Simpsons' will no longer use white actors to voice non-white characters
© Fox Network, The Simpsons

Showrunners of "The Simpsons" announced Friday that the series would no longer use white actors to voice nonwhite characters, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In January of this year, Hank Azaria said he would no longer voice Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian character in "The Simpsons" who operates a convenience store and has been at the center of debate for years as many viewers have said his depiction is racist.

The character had not been on the show since January, but it was unclear whether Apu would return. 

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Azaria has also said he does not want to voice the Black characters of Lou and Carl and Hispanic characters Julio and “Bumblebee Man."

The show, which has run on Fox for more than 30 years, has been reluctant to change when issues were raised in the past. Its decision to make the change now comes after nationwide protests against racism and police brutality. 

"The Simpsons" change follows in the footsteps of other animated shows including Netflix's "Big Mouth," Apple's "Central Park," and "Family Guy" in changing voice casting to better reflect the race of their characters.