Hank Azaria admitted that he and the producers of the legendary television show, “The Simpsons,” are considering the future of the character, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. As you may know, increased sensitivity to stereotypes regarding culture and ethnicity has been the topic of debate on many issues from food, clothing, music, and even language.
The 53-year-old actor claimed he and the other producers on the set of the show are “upset” that there are people out there who are offended by the character.
In the documentary, “The Problem With Apu,” Hari Kondabolu explored how the character facilitates “harmful” stereotypes of Indian and Pakistani culture. Due to producers and Hank seeing the film, they have begun to think and discuss the implications and effects of Apu.
He said to TMZ: “the documentary made some fascinating points and gave us a lot at “The Simpsons” to think about” and they are upset to hear people were offended by the character, who has been a mainstay since the series’ inception.
However, Azaria didn’t reveal if Apu would be removed permanently. The documentarians stated many aspects of Apu’s origin and character are offensive including his arranged marriage, the proprietorship of a convenience store, and the parenting of many children. Additionally, Hank said he regrets not spending more time to perfect Apu’s accent.
However, the actor conceded that it’s not likely anybody would’ve been less offended by a more accurate representation of the pronunciation. Either way, it may be time for the creators of The Simpsons to pack in the legendary character, or perhaps figure out a way to make his characterization more respectful to the source of the culture.