Hank Azaria Willing to Stop Voicing Apu for The Simpsons

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Though Apu has been a beloved character on The Simpsons, he has been at the center of controversy with the South Asian community, and a documentary called The Problem with Apu also came out last year. Hank Azaria, who voices the character, has opened up about the issue, and says he's willing to stop voicing the character altogether.


Talking during The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Azaria explains:

"I have given this a lot of thought, and as I say, my eyes have been opened. And 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 and how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it has been. And, as you know, in television terms, listening to voices means inclusion in the writers' room. I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the room – not in a token way – genuinely informing whatever new direction this character take, including how it is voiced or not voiced. I'm perfectly willing to step aside or help transition it into something new."

The show itself has even responded to the recent issue regarding Apu, with a scene between Lisa and Marge discussing something that was once inoffensive now considered to be politically incorrect. The clip isn't online, but there is a dubbed version with the same exchange here:


A lot of Simpsons fans are actually finding issue that the whole "Apu is a stereotype" thing is causing all this controversy. Besides Apu, there are a whole different bunch of stereotypical characters on the show (Bumblebee Man, Groundskeeper Willy), but nobody has found issue with any of them—they're just cartoon characters, and Apu is no different.

The rise of the SJW movement has led to this clash in comedy culture where comedians and writers are now finding it hard to joke about things without people getting offended. I think the show actually handled the issue kind of well, but we've yet to see what will happen to Apu on the show following all this discussion.

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