Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon has addressed the casting controversies that have arisen across recent animated shows.
Referring to instances in which animated characters of colour have been voiced by white actors – including Big Mouth, The Simpsons and Central Park – the executive producer weighed in on the current problem.
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“That issue, they call it whitewashing if you will, that’s been going on for a while,” Harmon began while backstage at last weekend’s Emmy Awards, per Deadline.
“The wave has gotten to the point where it’s huge now, but we’ve been in that water for a bit. And I’ve – not even out of nobility, but out of pragmatism – I’ve always been of the mind that there’s a lot of actors out there; if we’re saying that it’s important part of a character they are of a certain background, the best way to do this is to find an actor of that background.”
Harmon then added: “But it gets into this weird question, ‘What if you didn’t find an actor from that particular group for representation purposes?’ or ‘What if that actor is the worst actor in the world?’ Those conversations are minefields.”
Discussing a potential solution, the Rick and Morty writer said: “The best thing that people of privilege can do is not try to figure it out logically, take a flyer; it sure feels like the right thing to do is to not write, ‘This guy looks like this’ and then cast someone that doesn’t to do an impression of someone that looks that way.
“That’s not throwing anyone under the bus that has been doing that, because that was normal for a long time. We’re privileged because we have a sci-fi show and three quarters of the characters are from a different planet.“