The Simpsons recasts a gay character with a gay actor

Hannah Lovejoy
·2-min read
Photo credit: Fox
Photo credit: Fox

The Simpsons recently recast another of its characters, in line with increasing the diversity of its cast representative of the characters they're playing.

Julio has been part of the show's LGBT+ community for some time, having previously dated Waylon Smithers. Viewers will know him as Marge Simpson's hairdresser.

Tony Rodriguez has been recast in the role of Julio in order to accurately portray the character – both Julio and Tony are gay Cuban men. Tony has shared his excitement about his new role across social media, explaining that he's always been a big fan of The Simpsons.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Related: The Simpsons showrunner discusses its future and how many episodes are left

Posting on Instagram back in March, Tony wrote: "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."

Earlier this year, Tony also posted a video on Instagram explaining why he should play the role of Julio, and expressed his love for the show, saying that he'd been watching since it started. He added that the characters, writing and performances are all "brilliant".

"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," Tony explained.

Photo credit: Fox
Photo credit: Fox

Related: The Simpsons boss has "ambitious" plans for Apu post-controversy

Previously, the part of Julio was voiced by Hank Azaria, who has faced some controversy for voicing some of the show's characters.

Hank recently apologised for his portrayal of Indian character Apu, saying that his role on the animated show had become a "slur".

Speaking on the Armchair Expert podcast, Hank said: "If it's an Indian character or a Latinx character or a Black character, please let's have that person voice the character. It's more authentic, they'll bring their experience to it."

The Simpsons is now available to watch on Disney+ in the US and the UK.

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