The Simpsons star Azaria willing to step aside from Apu

Angelo Anderson
April 26, 2018

United States actor Hank Azaria addressed the growing controversy surrounding his character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from the long-running show, The Simpsons, during his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Azaria says, "I think the most important thing is to listen to Indian people and their experience with it. I've given this a lot of thought ... my eyes have been opened [etc.]".

Nahasapeemapetilon, a Indian-American character with a thick accent, operates the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store in the fictional town of Springfield. "I really want to see Indian, South Asian [writers] in the writers' room. genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take".

The objections to Apu - seeming to emanate mostly from a younger generation of Indian- and South Asian-Americans - center mainly on the characteristics of his voice, which is rendered in a decidedly caricatured dialect. He followed that up by volunteering to stop voicing the character or taking part in some sort of character evolution.

In that same vein, I am sure America's bartenders and saloon owners would appreciate it if greater attention could be paid to the characterization of Moe the bartender on "The Simpsons". "And it not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do to me".

"It was certainly not my intention", he said.

"I wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character, and the idea that it's brought pain and suffering in any way, that it was used to marginalise people, it's upsetting - genuinely".

"In television terms, listening to voices means inclusion in the writers' room", Azaria continued. He also said he'd be willing to let Apu go if that's what's necessary. Azaria, an actor known his affability who has voiced more than 20 voices on "The Simpsons" over the years, told Colbert that he has become more aware over the past years that his character offends some viewers.

Azaria, also known for voicing bar owner Mo, police chief Wiggin and many others on "The Simpsons", also said he disagreed with how the long-running animated comedy recently dealt with criticism of Apu in an episode where Lisa said, "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect".

Kondabolu blasted the response as "sad".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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