Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hank Azaria willing to stop voicing Apu on the simpsons

Pictured:  Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, voice by Hank Azaria       Voice actor Hank Azaria made an appearance on "The Late Show with Ste... thumbnail 1 summary
Pictured:  Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, voice by Hank Azaria   

Voice actor Hank Azaria made an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" to address the controversy over the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon that he voices on the iconic show "The Simpsons."

Following the documentary "The Problem with Apu" a hard look was given at the character being depicted with a liberal use of stereo types.  The show has recently seen increased displeasure with the portrayal of the Indian immigrant.

Azaria is quoted saying, "I think the most important thing is to listen to Indian people and their experience with it.  I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers room.  Including how Apu is voiced or not voice.  I'm perfectly willing to step aside.  It just feels like the right thing to do to me."

Hank Azaria indicated he was aware that Apu was a cause of controversy and stated that, "It's come to my attention more and more over the past couple years."

Feeling conflicted about this news he said, "The Idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad.  It certainly was not my intention.  I wanted to bring joy and laughter to people."

"The Simpsons" previously responded to the criticism with an episode titled "No Good Read Goes Unpunished" that saw Marge Simpson trying to censor a book from the last generation while she reads to Lisa.  Lisa breaks the fourth wall and says, "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect.  What can you do?"

The episode "No Good Read Goes Unpunished" was met with criticism, and the showrunner Al Jean tweeted to critics that he would "continue to try and find an answer that is popular & more important right."

Azaria was asked about the episode of "The Simpsons" and responded, "I had nothing to do with the writing or the voicing.  I think if anyone came away from that segment thinking they need to lighten up...that's definitely not the message that I want to send."

Hank Azaria stated that he was open to changing the role of Apu, saying "I've given this a lot of thought, and as I say my eyes have been opened."