A new episode of the long-running US animated film The Simpsons will feature a deaf actor for the first time in its 33-year history.
In the episode, titled “The Sound Of Bleeding Gums,” Lisa Simpson will discover that the son of her musical mentor and saxophonist, Bleeding Gums Murphy, was born deaf.
Lisa will help Monk, played by deaf actor John Autry II, get a cochlear implant.
The episode will also mark the first time American Sign Language (ASL) will be used on the show.
It was written by Loni Steele Sosthand, who grew up listening to jazz music and has a brother who was born deaf.
Autry previously told US media outlet Variety that the episode was “part of the story.”
“It’s life-changing equality and inclusion,” he said.
“This can affect us all. It’s about hard of hearing and hearing characters coming together. It’s part of history.”
It comes on the heels of the success of Coda, which won Best Picture at this year’s Oscars and features a cast of mostly deaf actors.
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The landmark family drama has been widely praised by members of the industry for highlighting the issues facing the deaf community and providing more platform for its members.
ASL performers were first used at the 94th Academy Awards on March 27 and again at the 64th Grammy Awards a week later — two of showbiz’ biggest nights.
The Sound Of Bleeding Gums will air on Sunday April 10th.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/new-episode-of-the-simpsons-to-feature-the-shows-first-deaf-voice-actor-41535172.html New episode of The Simpsons with the show’s first deaf voice actor