‘The Simpsons’: Hank Azaria to stop voicing Apu following controversy

A 2017 documentary called out Azaria's portrayal as racially insensitive

The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria has confirmed that he’s to stop voicing character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

In 2017 the long-running animated comedy series came under fire for its depiction of the Kwik-E-Mart owner.

Hari Kondabolu criticised the portrayal in his documentary The Problem With Apu, claiming that the character is considered to be an offensive stereotype to people of Indian and Asian descent.

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Last summer, Simpsons creator Matt Groening revealed at a Disney expo in California that, despite rumours, Apu wouldn’t be axed from the show, saying: “We love Apu. We’re proud of Apu.”

Azaria has now confirmed that, despite this, he will no longer be voicing the character. Speaking to SlashFilm, Azaria referenced the controversy and the future of Apu, saying: “All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something”.

Apu in The Simpsons

He continued: “What they’re going to do with the character is their call. It’s up to them and they haven’t sorted it out yet. All we’ve agreed on is I won’t do the voice anymore.”

Azaria reveals that everyone who works on the show “all agreed” with him stepping aside, saying: “We all made the decision together. We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it.”

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Last November, Simpsons composer Danny Elfman shared his belief that the iconic show will finally be coming to an end very soon. “Well, from what I’ve heard, it is coming to an end. I don’t know for a fact, but I’ve heard that it will be in its last year,” he told JOE.

One of the show’s writers, Al Jean, then refuted the claim, saying: “No disrespect to Mr. Elfman, but we are producing season 32 starting next year and have no plans to end after that.”
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