Emmy nominee Kerry Washington‘s character will have her hands full on The Simpsons. The Scandal vet will be playing troublemaker Bart’s teacher starting on Sunday.
Washington’s Rayshelle Peyton will replace Springfield educator Edna Krabappel as Bart’s minder; the character was retired after the 2013 death of the actress who voiced her, Marcia Wallace.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Washington says of her Springfield alter-ego, “She’s a great teacher, but like all the best teachers, she knows that her students have just as much to teach her as she has to teach them. And teaching Bart is a job filled with growth opportunities.”
Bart is apparently dealing with “complicated” feelings for his new teacher.
Co-executive producer Carolyn Omine, who wrote Washington’s debut episode “My Octopus and a Teacher,” notes of Ms. Peyton, “She’s really good at figuring out what the kids need, but she can’t really figure out what [Bart’s] problem is until he finally comes clean.”
Incidentally, Washington helped manifest the recurring role for herself. In 2020, when longtime Simpsons voice of Apu, Hank Azaria vowed to no longer lend his voice to characters of color, the actress tweeted, “Dear animators looking for black voices… I’m avail.”
One of the people who saw that tweet was Omine, who tells EW, “That just got it into my head. I began thinking, ‘Maybe she could be the new teacher. We’ve had this spot.”
Omine and co-producer Matt Selman started writing the teacher with Kerry in mind from that point, Omine explains.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.