There are yet more changes to The Simpsons.
The long-running show has recently been making changes within the cast in an attempt to improve diversity, and remove any outdated stereotypes.
They have now recast another of the characters.
The character of Julio, Marge Simpson’s hairdresser, has been part of the show’s LGBT+ community for many years.
He previously dated Waylon Smithers.
Julio was voiced by Hank Azaria until now, but they’ve found a new actor to take over the role.
Actor Tony Rodriguez has been cast as Julio “in order to accurately portray the character” as both Julio and Rodriguez are gay Cuban men.
Rodriguez wrote on Instagram excitedly: “Tonight I make my debut on The Simpsons as gay, Cuban Julio. This is a dream come true for me and I was already a living cartoon,” he joked.
Earlier this year, Rodriguez posted a video to Instagram explaining why he should play the role of Julio.
In the video, he said he is a big fan of the show and heaped praise on the characters, writing and performances.
“In the past two years, I have seen myself more in the show, and by that, I mean specifically the part of Julio, who is gay like me, he’s Cuban like me,” he said.
The recasting of Julio isn’t the only change in the popular series.
As well as giving up the role of Julio, Azaria apologised for his role of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. He also acknowledged the show’s participation in “structural racism”.
Earlier this month he appeared on the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepherd.
During the chat, Azaria said he wished he had stopped playing Apu earlier.
“I’ve had a date with destiny with this thing for about 31 years,” Azaria said.
Hari Kondabolu criticised the character and the show in his documentary The Problem With Apu. That was the spark to ramp up the heat on the show and to be more sensitive in their portrayal.
Even after all this time, The Simpsons still continues to have an impact on culture. A word first used on the show has now been officially recognised in the dictionary.
The word “embiggens” has been added. It first appeared in an episode all the way back in 1996.
In the episode, Lisa is heartbroken when she discovers that Springfield’s town founder, Jebediah Springfield, was actually a murderous pirate.
Meanwhile, Morrisey is angry at his portrayal in a new episode. He’s called the series “racist” in a lengthy rant on Facebook.
Are you a fan still?
Image via Alamy.