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‘The Simpsons’ is set to feature its first-ever deaf voice actor.

John Autry makes history on The Simpsons

John Autry makes history on The Simpsons

John Autry has been cast in the role of Monk – the deaf son of saxophonist Bleeding Gums Murphy – and American Sign Language will be used for the first time in the show’s history in an upcoming episode.

Producer Al Jean shared a image of the new character on Twitter and captioned the picture: “Meet Monk Murphy voiced by @johnautryll in The Sound of Bleeding Gums, Sunday @8. An episode that makes me smile whenever I think about it. (sic)”

In the episode, Lisa Simpson helps Monk in his pursuit of a cochlear implant, which can help to improve speech understanding.

John is thrilled to have been cast in the iconic TV show, describing it as an historic moment.

He told Variety: “It’s so incredible. It’s life-changing equality and participation.

“This can impact change for all of us. It’s about hard of hearing and hearing characters coming together. It’s a part of history.”

‘The Sound of Bleeding Gums’ was in the works long before ‘CODA’ – the Oscar-winning movie about a deaf family – had been so widely lauded.

But writer Loni Steele Sosthand acknowledges there are some obvious similarities between the upcoming episode and the Sian Heder-directed comedy-drama film.

Loni said: “I was an early viewer of ‘CODA’ and really admire the movie. There are themes in it that are somewhat echoed here, coming out of a sibling relationship. And also ‘CODA’ has the tension between music and the deaf experience. I think it’s great, because the deaf experience isn’t just one story, there are so many stories to be told.”

Despite this, the episode was largely inspired by Loni’s personal experiences.

She said: “I’m mixed race; my father’s black and jazz was big in our house.

“We grew up in the suburbs, and it was a way for my dad to bring in that aspect of our culture. But when I think about music, I also think about my brother, who was born deaf.”

Post source: Female First

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