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Hank Azaria offers to stop Apu on "The Simpsons" for criticism



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Hank Azaria has been the voice behind Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the heavily acclaimed shopkeeper of the Simpsons, for nearly 30 years.

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Andrew Toth / Getty Images for New York Magazine

The actor portraying Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the heavily acclaimed shopkeeper on "The Simpsons," said on Tuesday that he would be "completely willing and happy to step aside" Voice of

For almost 30 years, Hank Azaria has been the voice behind the stingy Indian-American owner of the high-priced Kwik-E-Mart in Springfield, the fictional city in the series. Mr. Azaria, who is white, gave Apu a pronounced Indian accent, which, along with the character itself, has been severely criticized as racist stereotypes in recent months.

In December, Mr. Azaria said he "disrupted" the situation and that there was "a lot of things to think about". But on Tuesday, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show," he offered his fullest response yet to the criticism that began with the debut last fall's documentary "The Problem with Apu."

Producer of the documentary, Hari Kondabolu, a comedian of South Asian origin, said in the film that Mr. Azaria's portrayal of Apu is more like "a white man who looks like a white man making fun of my father. "

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Apu was for years the most prominent figure in South Asian descent and representation of American Indians on television.

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FOX, via Getty Images

Mr. Azaria said he saw the documentary and listened to others.

"I have thought a lot, really many thoughts," Mr. Azaria said in an interview. "I'm completely ready and happy to step aside or help create something new." @HankAzaria speaks of the controversy surrounding the figure & ap; & ap; & # 39; apu & # 39; from @The Simpsons . #LSSC #Apu #TheSimpsons pic.twitter.com/pkmYgcX4Il


The late show (@colbertlateshow)
April 25, 2018

Apu was for years the most prominent figure of South Asian descent and representation of American Indians on television. Apu's significance and influence, according to the documentary, contributed to years of negative racial stereotypes used to mock or bully Asian-American children.

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