Longtime ‘Simpsons’ voice actor Hank Azaria is now voicing his deep regret over his role voicing the famous character ‘Apu,’ an Indian man with a thick accent who owned a ‘Kwik-I-Mart’ on the show.
Azaria said that he wanted to apologize to ‘every single Indian person’ for his portrayal of the character which he now seems to think was racist.
As The New York Post reports:
In an interview with Dax Shepard on his podcast “Armchair Expert,” the 56-year-old actor revealed that he’s on a major guilt trip over his longtime role as Kwik-E-Mart shopkeeper Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons.”
Azaria, who no longer voices the controversial character, says he’s taking some unconventional steps to find out why his portrayal was offensive toward the Indian community…
Hank Azaria says he feels like apologizing to “every single Indian person” in the U.S. for voicing Apu on ‘The Simpsons.’
— Complex Pop Culture (@ComplexPop) April 13, 2021
“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,” said Azaria, who voices a number of other recurring characters on long-running cartoon, including barman Moe Szyslak, police Chief Wiggum and the snark-filled “Comic Book Guy.” He also stepped down from voicing Carl Carlson, a black character.
“With tears in his eyes,” according to Azaria, the teen asked him to pass the message on to his Hollywood colleagues.