Hank Azaria has stepped down as the voice of Apu after the recent controversy surrounding the Indian character from The Simpsons.
The American actor has been the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon for the past 30 years. However, in the past years, the Indian character and the owner of Kwik-E-Mart, has faced a lot of controversy for perpetuating racial stereotypes.
Azaria confirmed the news to Slash Films on Friday. He said, “All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s some way to transition it or something. We all made the decision together… We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it.”
The controversy surrounding Apu began two years ago after Hari Kondabolu released his TruTV documentary, The Problem With Apu. The documentary highlighted that the voicing of a South Asian character by a non-South Asian actor was extremely problematic.
However, Hank Azaria has just now announced his decision to no longer voice Apu. Furthermore, the 55-year-old actor will continue to voice other characters on the show including Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, and Comic Book Guy.
After Azaria’s announcement, Hari Kondabolu tweeted his desire for The Simpsons to keep the character of Apu and also addressed the death threats he was receiving due to his documentary.
He tweeted, “If @HankAzaria is indeed no longer doing the voice of Apu, I do hope they keep the character & let a very talented writing staff do something interesting with him. If not to better the show, then to atleast spare me some death threats.”
Further adding, “My documentary “The Problem with Apu” was not made to get rid of a dated cartoon character, but to discuss race, representation & my community (which I love very much). It was also about how you can love something (like the Simpsons) & still be critical about aspects of it (Apu).”
“Most people who saw the documentary like it & those that didn’t see it…hate it. You can see it on Amazon, truTV app & other places. Feel free to watch it by legal or illegal means. I don’t get paid more either way & it’s the message of the film that has the most value to me,” he concluded.
The Simpsons’ producer has not commented on the news!
We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.