On June 26, 2020, it was stated that “Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.” This follows Mike Henry stating that he will no longer voice the African-American character Cleveland Brown on fellow Fox animated series Family Guy, and Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell‘s announcement that they will no longer voice mixed-race characters on Big Mouth and Central Park, respectively, in the wake of the George Floyd protests. It also follows series regular Hank Azaria‘s January 2020 announcement that he will no longer voice the Indian character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons. Series regular Harry Shearer was not fully in agreement with the decision, stating that “the job of the actor is to play someone who they’re not”. On September 24, 2020, it was announced that Alex Désert would voice Carl Carlson in the first episode of the season, taking over from Azaria who voiced the character since the first season.
On June 26, 2020, Mike Henry announced that he will no longer voice the African American character Cleveland Brown, following Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell‘s announcement that they will no longer voice mixed-race characters on Big Mouth, and Central Park, respectively in the wake of the George Floyd protests. Actor Wendell Pierce launched a campaign to be Henry’s replacement afterwards. It was later announced on September 25, 2020 that YouTube voice actor Arif Zahir will be the new voice for the character. However, some episodes will still have Henry voicing the character since they were made before the recasting.