In a long overdue acceptance of what is and isn't cool in 2020, The Simpsons star Hank Azaria has confirmed that he will no longer voice Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. The character has attracted controversy in recent years following the release of the 2017 documentary The Problem With Apu, which presented the case he was racially problematic.
Azaria said in 2018 that he would be willing to "step aside" from the character, though creator Matt Groening confirmed last year that Apu would not be written out of the show.
The voice actor has now confirmed that he will no longer play the character, telling SlashFilm: "All we know there is I won't be doing the voice anymore, unless there's some way to transition it or something".
He added of Apu's future: "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 also said they "all agreed" that he would step aside, explaining: "We all made the decision together. We all agreed on it. We all feel like it's the right thing and good about it."
The Simpsons made a ham-fisted attempt to address the Apu controversy in a 2018 episode, in which Marge reads Lisa her "favourite book ever" while ensuring old stereotypes were updated to make it less offensive. Lisa then replies: "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?" Well, for one, you can recognise when you're the problem and fix it. Too late is better than never, at least.
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