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‘The Simpsons’ actor Hank Azaria desires to apologize to ‘each single Indian individual’ for voicing Apu character

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Hank Azaria desires to apologize to each individual of Indian descent for his previous portrayal of “The Simpsons” character, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

The character, who runs the native Kwik-E-Mart in Springfield and was voiced by Azaria starting in 1988, grew to become the topic of controversy in 2017 when comic Hari Kondabolu launched the documentary “The Downside With Apu.” The documentary sparked a dialog about whitewashing, racist voice casting and the destructive affect the character has had on the notion of Indian individuals in America. 

In an interview with The New York Instances in 2020, Azaria mentioned he had stepped away from voicing the character because the present basically started to treatment having White actors voice non-White characters. Talking on the podcast “Armchair Knowledgeable” lately, the actor advised hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman concerning the journey he’s been on to teach himself concerning the hurt Apu has achieved to the Indian group.

Along with taking the message behind Kondabolu’s documentary to coronary heart, Azaria mentioned he tried to speak to Indian individuals to realize a bit of little bit of perspective. He advised the podcast hosts a narrative a couple of current encounter with a younger Indian boy that left him reeling.


Hank Azaria said he wants to apologize to every Indian person for previously voicing the character Apu on 'The Simpsons.'

Hank Azaria mentioned he desires to apologize to each Indian individual for beforehand voicing the character Apu on ‘The Simpsons.’ (Getty Photographs/FOX)

“I used to be talking at my son’s faculty, I used to be speaking to the Indian children there as a result of I needed to get their enter,” Azaria mentioned (by way of The Hollywood Reporter). “A 17-year-old… he is by no means even seen ‘The Simpsons’ however is aware of what Apu means. It is virtually a slur at this level. All he is aware of is that’s how his persons are considered and represented to many individuals on this nation.”

The actor mentioned the boy had tears in his eyes as he implored him to inform anybody in Hollywood who would hear that what writers do issues and has ramifications on the lives of individuals like him. Azaria says he agreed to ship the message as greatest he can, which he believes begins with apologizing for Apu. 

In accordance with Vulture, the voice actor spoke on to Padman, who’s herself an Indian-American, at one level throughout the prolonged interview to elucidate that he feels he damage her and everybody like her along with his portrayal. 


“I actually do apologize. I do know you weren’t asking for that, however it’s necessary. I apologize in my view in creating that and collaborating in that,” he mentioned. “A part of me looks like I have to go round to each single Indian individual on this nation and personally apologize, and generally I do when it comes up.”

Hank Azaria said he hopes there will be more Indian and South Asian writers on 'The Simpsons.'

Hank Azaria mentioned he hopes there will probably be extra Indian and South Asian writers on ‘The Simpsons.’ (Reuters)

Azaria concluded his ideas on the matter by noting that he has absolutely embraced variety in voice casting and is attempting to be a proponent of it each time he can. 

“If it’s an Indian character, or a Latinx character, or a Black character, please, let’s have that individual voice the character,” he concluded. “It’s extra genuine, they’ll deliver their expertise to it, and let’s not take jobs away from individuals who don’t have sufficient.”


The star is placing his cash the place his mouth is. Along with now not voicing Apu, he and the present have agreed to exchange the voices behind varied BIPOC characters who had been beforehand voiced by white actors. 


Alex Désert, for instance, debuted on the present in September as the brand new voice of Homer Simpson’s pal and co-worker, Carl Carlson, a Black man who Azaria beforehand offered the voice for. In the meantime, Harry Shearer will now not voice Springfield’s mild-mannered doctor, Dr. Julius Hibbert. As a substitute, voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson, who has appeared as different characters in additional than 70 episodes of the present already, will take over.

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