On Tuesday’s episode of “The Late Present with Stephen Colbert,” Hank Azaria addressed the controversy over one of many “Simpsons” characters he voices, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.
Apu’s portrayal got here below scrutiny after the documentary “The Downside with Apu” introduced consideration to the stereotypical depiction of Indian immigrants that the character presents.
“I believe a very powerful factor is to take heed to Indian individuals and their expertise with it,” Azaria mentioned. “I actually wish to see Indian, South Asian writers within the writers room…together with how [Apu] is voiced or not voiced. I’m completely keen to step apart. It simply looks like the appropriate factor to do to me.”
Azaria mentioned he understood the controversy surrounding his character. “It’s come to my consideration increasingly more over the previous couple years,” he mentioned.
“The concept anybody younger or previous, previous or current, being bullied based mostly on Apu actually makes me unhappy,” he continued. “It definitely was not my intention. I needed to deliver pleasure and laughter to individuals.”
“The Simpsons” tried to answer the criticism with the episode “No Good Learn Goes Unpunished,” through which Marge tries to change a e book from a earlier period that she’s studying to Lisa to be much less offensive. Lisa addresses the digicam, saying, “One thing that began many years in the past and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What are you able to do?”
After some criticized the episode’s dealing with of the difficulty, showrunner Al Jean tweeted that he’d “proceed to try to discover a solution that’s fashionable & extra vital proper.”
Of the “Simpsons’” response, Azaria mentioned, “I had nothing to do with the writing or the voicing [in that episode]. I believe if anybody got here away from that section pondering they should loosen up…that’s undoubtedly not the message that I wish to ship.”
Azaria indicated he was open to alter concerning his function as Apu. “I’ve given this quite a lot of thought, and as I say my eyes have been opened.”