'Simpsons' star Hank Azaria apologizes for voicing Apu, calls for animated shows to stop casting white actors as characters of color

It's been more than a year since Hank Azaria officially stepped away from voicing Springfield's resident convenience store owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on "The Simpsons" — a highly personal decision that ended up anticipating a larger sea change in the show's vocal cast. Last summer, producers announced that white actors would no longer voice characters of color on the long-running animated series, which has already resulted in Alex Désert replacing Azaria as the voice of Carl Carlson and Kevin Michael Richardson taking over the role of Dr. Julius Hibbert from Harry Shearer.