'Simpsons' Actor Won't Do Apu Voice Anymore After Racism Complaints

Hank Azaria will no longer voice the character of Apu on 'The Simpsons' after long-running complaints from those of South Asian descent.

"I won't be doing the voice anymore, unless there's someway to transition it or something," Azaria has said in an interview with SlashFilm.

"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."



Apu To Be Cut From 'The Simpsons' Following Controversy About Racial Stereotypes

Reports the character is going to be be written out of the hit cartoon -- following a documentary that criticised Apu's portrayal of Indians -- has been welcomed by an Australian Indian community leader.

Calls for Azaria, who has voiced the Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner for decades, to stop playing Apu intensified in 2017 after comedian Hari Kondabolu released the documentary 'The Problem With Apu'.

Azaria said he won't do Apu's voice anymore. Image: Getty/Fox

The documentary explored how people of South Asian descent felt about growing up with Apu as one of their only representatives on American television.

'The Simpsons' addressed the controversy in a 2018 episode, in which Lisa says: "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?"

She then looks over at a framed picture of Apu, which has the line "Don't have a cow!" written on it.

Azaria has voiced Apu since the show began. Image: Getty

Series creator Matt Groening also spoke about the issue in an interview in which he said "I'm proud of what we do on the show. And I think it's a time in our culture where people love to pretend they're offended".

In the wake of the film's release, Azaria said he would be willing to stop playing the character.

"I think the most important thing is to listen to Indian people and their experience with it," he said at the time.

The Simpsons is still figuring out how to deal with the Apu change. Image: Getty/Fox

"I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers room...including how (Apu) is voiced or not voiced. I'm perfectly willing to step aside. It just feels like the right thing to do to me."

"The idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad," he continued.



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"It certainly was not my intention. I wanted to bring joy and laughter to people."