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The Simpsons: Kerry Washington cast as permanent replacement for Mrs Krabappel

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The Simpsons has finally found a permanent replacement for Bart’s teacher, Edna Krabbapel, after the death of voice actor Marcia Wallace in 2013.

Kerry Washington will take the reigns as Springfield Elementary’s new teacher starting in Sunday’s (24 April) episode “My Octopus and a Teacher”, playing the “very dedicated” and “quirky” Ms Peyton.

“Bart has never had a teacher like her. Will @kerrywashington be able to get through to him this Sunday?” The Simpsons Twitter account tweeted Thursday.

Washington steps in after a host of guests had temporarily taught Bart at Springfield Elementary School, including Willem Dafoe’s Jack Lassen, Sofia Vergara’s retired-army-sergeant-turned-substitute-teacher Carol Berrera and Ned Flanders.

“I don’t know why we’ve been putting it off,” co-executive producer Carolyn Omine told Entertainment Weekly. “I do miss our dear Marcia, and I think there was a little sadness and reluctance to do it, but it’s been nine years.

“We would have a conversation at least once a year, maybe every other year. We couldn’t really decide, and we couldn’t really agree. There just wasn’t the inspired thought — until we came upon this.”

“She’s a great teacher,” Washington told EW. “But like all the best teachers, she knows that her students have just as much to teach her as she has to teach them. And teaching Bart is a job filled with growth opportunities.”

Speaking about how Washington’s character will compare to Wallace’s, Omine said: “We’re not going to feel like, ‘Oh, this is a new Krabappel.’ Most of our teachers are kind of burnouts, and it’s just a function of comedy. But we thought, ‘Let’s just make this different, let’s make her a good teacher.’”

Washington put herself forward for voice acting roles in 2020 after white actor Hank Azaria stepped down as the voice of Apu following accusations that the character was racist. The Simpsons announced soon after that it would stop using white actors for voices of non-white characters.

“Dear animators looking for black voices... I’m avail,” Washington tweeted.

Soon after, Omine got in touch with her. “It's just funny that it played out through Twitter in that way,” she said.

Washington will only star in one episode this season, according to EW, but will make several return appearances in season 34.

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