The Scandal alum has been cast as Rayshelle Peyton, whom EW describes as "Bart's very thoughtful, highly capable, and rather unfiltered fourth-grade teacher." Washington makes her debut on Sunday's episode. Washington's casting comes nearly a decade after Marcia Wallace, who played Mrs. Krabappel, died in 2013. Co-executive producer Carolyn Omine, who wrote Sunday's episode, says she's been eyeing Washington since the actress hosted SNL in 2013. "I had always known she was a super-talented actress who had great range, but just never knew she was funny," says Omine. "She had a lot of characters and just really great comic timing, and I was like, 'We should really think of using her.'" Meanwhile, in summer 2020, as white actors were leaving their jobs of portraying actors of color on animated series, Washington tweeted: "Dear animators looking for black voices... I’m avail." Funny enough, the job offer went through Twitter. After sending the role to Washington's team and not hearing back, The Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman tweeted in July 2021: "Hi @kerrywashington we @TheSimpsons saw your tweet and have written a big funny part with you in mind. Are you still avail?" Washington says Twitter was indeed "instrumental" in her joining The Simpsons, adding: "I'm just a huge Simpsons fan! What an extraordinary legacy to be a part of! And I thought the idea of playing Bart's teacher was so funny. I used to be a teacher in NYC public schools. And my mother is a retired teacher. Teaching is, to me, a sacred profession. I could only imagine the laughs involved in teaching Bart."
TOPICS: Kerry Washington, FOX, The Simpsons, Carolyn Omine, Matt Selman