The Simpsons has recast the role of Julio, a gay Cuban character, with a real gay Cuban actor, Tony Rodriguez.
According to reports, Rodriguez made his debut as Julio in the March 2021 episode “Uncut Femmes.” Julio was previously voiced by Hank Azaria, then briefly replaced by Mario Jose in the February 2021 episode “Diary Queen” before Rodriguez took over.
The replacement of Julio’s voice actor was spurred on by Every LGBT Joke On the Simpsons Ever, a two-and-a-half hour supercut created by Drew Mackie and Glen Lakin of the Gayest Episode Ever podcast. The Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman confirmed the impact of the supercut on Twitter, writing, “the every gay joke ever on the Simpsons video definitely had a hand in this magic coming together.”
Rodriguez’s arrival follows Azaria’s departure (he still plays the characters of Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy and Snake Jailbird) from the roles of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Carl Carlson and Bumblebee Man, as well as Harry Shearer’s exit as Dr. Julius Hibbert, who is now voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. Azaria recently apologized for voicing Apu and acknowledged that while the character was created with good intentions, it still played a part in “structural racism.” He explaiined, “I really didn’t know any better. I didn’t think about it. I was unaware of how much relative advantage I had received in this country as a white kid from Queens. Just because there were good intentions it doesn’t mean there weren’t real negative consequences to the thing that I am accountable for.”
the every gay joke ever on the Simpsons video definitely had a hand in this magic coming together
— Matt Selman (@mattselman) March 28, 2021
Elsewhere in entertainment, here’s everything coming to and leaving Netflix in May 2021.