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The Simpsons’ Hank Azaria Feels He Should “Personally Apologize” to Every Indian For Role as Apu

The controversial character receives a final condemnation from his voice actor.

Photo Credit Apu|Flickr

Hank Azaria, voice actor for multiple characters on The Simpsons, said he would like to apologize to every Indian for playing the role of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

Azaria spoke to actor Dax Shepherd, host of the weekly Armchair Expert podcast, which explores “the messiness of being human.”

The 56-year-old recalled how an Indian student explained the impact of the character on his life.

Azaria said: “I was speaking at my son’s school, I was talking to the Indian kids there because I wanted to get their input.

“A 17-year-old…he’s never even seen The Simpsons but knows what Apu means. It’s practically a slur at this point.

“All he knows is that is how his people are thought of and represented to many people in this country.”

Adding: “I really do apologize, it’s important. I apologize for my part in creating that and participating in that.

“Part of me feels like I need to go to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologize. And sometimes I do.”

On February 25, 2020, Azaria officially quit the character. This came after the infamous 2017 documentary by Hari Kondabolu, The Problem With Apu.

Kondabolu has no issue with Azaria. “Whatever happens with the character, to me, is secondary. “I’m happy that Hank did the work that a lot of people wouldn’t have. I feel like he’s a really thoughtful person and he got the bigger picture.”

Al Jean, an executive producer of The Simpsons, addressed the issues raised by the documentary. In 2018, he said, “Some people are offended by the character and I take that very seriously.

“Others really love the character. It’s a difficult choice. I don’t want to offend people, but we also want to be funny.

“We don’t want to be totally politically correct. That has never been us. It’s given us a lot of thought.”

Hank Azaria also played Black character Carl Carlson, and he was replaced with a Black actor. Read more about it here.

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