After a long history of The Simpsons featuring white actors portraying characters of color, The Flash's Alex Désert will portray Homer Simpsons' long-time work colleague, Carl Carlson, in the season 32 premiere.
While it's currently unclear if the role is a guest appearance or a permanent change to the roster – long-running voice performer Hank Azaria usually portrays the Black character – it suggests The Simpsons is finally responding to complaints raised in light of the 2017 documentary, The Problem With Apu, which called for Azaria – amongst others – to step aside from voicing non-white characters.
While Azaria has stepped down from portraying South Asian character Apu, he continues to provide the voices of other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) characters, including Carl, police officer Lou, and Hispanic character Bumblebee Man.
"We are very pleased to welcome Alex Désert, playing Carl in the Simpsons season premiere," a representative told THR (opens in new tab), but declined to comment further.
The Simpsons season 32 is scheduled to debut on Sunday, September 27.
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