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Hank Azaria reportedly says he'll no longer voice The Simpsons' Apu

  • "All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something," Azaria told Slashfilm at the TV press tour while promoting the final season of Brockmire. Azaria added that it was a mutual decision between him and The Simpsons producers. “We all made the decision together,” Azaria said. “We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it.” Azaria added: “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.” Azaria stepping down comes less than two years after he told Stephen Colbert he was willing to step aside from the role.  “I’ve given this a lot of thought, really a lot of thought, and as I say my eyes have been opened," he said in the April 2018 Late Show interview. "And I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country and they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character and what their American experience of it has been.”  The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean has yet to comment on Azaria's reported remarks. The character Apu has become increasingly scrutinized in recent years as more Indian-Americans become prominent in mainstream media. Comedian Hari Kondabolu's 2017 TruTV documentary The Problem with Apu especially drew attention to accusations that the Apu character is racist. In response to Azaria's comments, Kondabalu said he hopes The Simpsons keeps Apu. "If @HankAzaria is indeed no longer doing the voice of Apu, I do hope they keep the character & let a very talented writing staff do something interesting with him," Kondabolu tweeted. "If not to better the show, then to atleast spare me some death threats. My documentary The Problem with Apu was not made to get rid of a dated cartoon character, but to discuss race, representation & my community (which I love very much). It was also about how you can love something (like the Simpsons) & still be critical about aspects of it (Apu). Most people who saw the documentary like it & those that didn’t see it...hate it. You can see it on Amazon, truTV app & other places. Feel free to watch it by legal or illegal means. I don’t get paid more either way & it’s the message of the film that has the most value to me."

    TOPICS: Hank Azaria, FOX, The Problem With Apu, The Simpsons, Hari Kondabolu, Indian-Americans and TV