Tags: apu | the simpsons | simpsons character | hank azaria

Voice Behind Apu on 'The Simpsons' 'Happy and Willing' to Go

Voice Behind Apu on 'The Simpsons' 'Happy and Willing' to Go
Hank Azaria, who voices the Indian immigrant on "The Simpsons" and has been dogged by criticism that the character is a racial stereotype played by a white man – said Tuesday he’s ready to bow out. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 April 2018 11:27 AM

The days of Apu, the beloved proprietor of Kwik-E-Mart on "The Simpsons," may be numbered.

Hank Azaria -- who voices the Indian immigrant and has been dogged by criticism that the character is a racial stereotype played by a white man – said Tuesday he’s ready to bow out.

"[I’ve] given this a lot of thought, and as I say, my eyes have been opened," Azaria said on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

"I’m perfectly happy and willing to step aside or help transition it into something new. I really hope that’s what ‘The Simpsons’ does, it not only makes sense, it just feels like the right thing to do to me."

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has been a character on the popular animated Fox show since its first season in 1989-1990 and is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Rahmatpur, West Bengal, with a Ph.D. in computer science.

But for the past decade, he’s faced growing cries of being a racist caricature.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu has been in the forefront of that criticism and last year released a documentary, "The Problem with Apu," in which he interviewed other performers of South Asian heritage about the character.

Azaria, who also voices the characters of Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum and Comic Book Guy on "The Simpsons," told Stephen Colbert:

"I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country when they talk about what they feel, how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it [is]."

"Listening to voices means inclusion in the writer’s room. I really want to see Indians, South Asian writers in the room. Not in a token way, but genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take. Including how it is voiced, or not voiced."

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The days of Apu, the beloved proprietor of Kwik-E-Mart on "The Simpsons," may be numbered.
apu, the simpsons, simpsons character, hank azaria
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2018-27-25
Wednesday, 25 April 2018 11:27 AM
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