‘The Simpsons’ Voice Actor Hank Azaria Reveals His Journey Away From The ‘Apu’ Character
Actor Hank Azaria has expanded on his causes for not voicing the character of Kwik-E-Mart proprietor Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on the animated collection The Simpsons.
In a protracted New York Occasions interview with tradition author Dave Itzkoff, Azaria mentioned that voicing the character “simply didn’t really feel proper” after criticisms on its stereotyping emerged. Azaria first disclosed his decision in an interview on the Tv Critics Assn. winter gathering.
The Simpsons producers mentioned in a press release that “We respect Hank’s journey in regard to Apu. We’ve got granted his want to not voice the character.” Nevertheless, they refused to rule out one other actor voicing the character or persevering with with Apu on the present. “Apu is beloved worldwide. We love him too. Keep tuned.”
Azaria has accomplished many voices on the present along with Apu (launched in 1990), together with bartender Mo, Chief Wiggum, and Professor Frink. However Apu and his catchphrase, “Thanks! Come once more!” has since been revealed as one thing that bothers many, together with individuals of Indian descent.
“As soon as I noticed that that was the way in which this character was considered, I simply didn’t need to take part in it anymore,” Azaria mentioned to the Occasions. “It simply didn’t really feel proper.”
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Azaria hopes his choice to finish his affiliation with Apu will result in some soul-searching and dialog on ethnic representations.
“What occurred with this character is a window into an necessary subject,” Azaria mentioned. “It’s a great way to start out the dialog. I might be accountable and attempt to make up for it as greatest I can.”
Azaria drew his character from accents overheard in his native New York. He additionally mentioned the 1968 Blake Edwards comedy, The Occasion, wherein Peter Sellers wore brownface to play an Indian actor, was a part of his research. He claims he didn’t know the depiction was thought of racist.
“That represents an actual blind spot I had,” Azaria mentioned. “There I’m, joyfully basing a personality on what was already thought of fairly upsetting.”
The state of affairs started to fester when comic Hari Kondabolu complained about Azaria’s portrayal. He detailed that in a 2017 documentary, “The Problem With Apu,” inviting remark from different Indian-American actors and performers.
Azaria, who didn’t take part within the movie, wasn’t instantly certain what to do.
“However then I began considering, if that character have been the one illustration of Jewish individuals in American tradition for 20 years, which was the case with Apu, I may not love that,” he mentioned.
Lastly, after discussions with pals and studying feedback and articles within the wake of the movie, Azaria determined to not proceed with the character.
“After I expressed how uncomfortable I used to be doing the voice of the character, they have been very sympathetic and supportive,” Azaria mentioned. “We have been all in settlement.”