Simpson’s actor Hank Azaria quits Apu role amid continued ‘racism’ controversy over hit show’s Indian character

The veteran actor has voiced the Indian shopkeeper since 1990, but Azaria has now revealed that his time portraying the Kwik-E-Mart owner has come to an end.

The 55-year-old, who also plays Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum and various other characters in the long-running show, told Slashfilm: “All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s some way to transition it or something.

“We all made the decision together … We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it,” he added.


Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is an Indian immigrant who owns a convenience store in Springfield, the fictional town in which The Simpsons is set. He first appeared in ‘The Telltale Head’ episode in 1990. However, the character’s creators faced racism accusations in recent years, with the controversy intensifying following the 2017 documentary ‘The Problem with Apu.’

The documentary argued that Apu was offensive to South Asians; it was the work of comedian Hari Kondabolu. “Let the death threats begin!” Kondabolu quipped on Twitter, when it emerged that Azaria would no longer voice Apu.

“My documentary ‘The Problem with Apu’ was not made to get rid of a dated cartoon character, but to discuss race, representation and my community (which I love very much). It was also about how you can love something (like The Simpsons) and still be critical about aspects of it (Apu),” he said.

The shelving of Apu appears to have gone down poorly with fans, with many questioning the motivations of those attacking the character. However, others wondered why the show’s creators couldn’t simply find an Indian actor to play the part.

What do you think? Was Apu a racist stereotype that needed to go or do some people just need to relax.

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