Hank Azaria outlined what he considers "doing the right thing" while controversy over his character Apu
The late show with Stephen Colbert on On Tuesday, the actor responded to the recent backlash to the Indian shopkeeper Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who since 1990 is a character in the Fox series.
Since the publication of a documentary last year, Controversy has Surrounded Character The problem with Apu in which the writer Hari Kondabolu argued that the character perpetuates racial stereotypes through mannerisms and an exaggerated accent.
Azaria, 54, told Colbert, 53, that he understands the criticism [1
"It triggered a lot of conversation about what should happen to the character in the future, which is not so easy to answer," he continued. "And I've been trying to express that before – the idea that anyone, young or old, past or present, bullied or teased, based on the character of Apu, makes me really sad, it was certainly not my intention "I wanted to spread laughter and joy with this figure, and the notion that it somehow caused suffering and suffering, that it was used to marginalize people, is disturbing, really."
The Simpsons dealt with the controversy in an episode earlier this month with a scene in which Marge read a favorite childhood book with her daughter Lisa. However, she suddenly found the story of a tyrannical slaveholder much more racist than she remembered and tried to work her up to meet modern standards of political correctness.
"Well, what should I do?" Asked Marge.
"It's hard to say that something that started decades ago and was applauded and harmless is now politically incorrect What can you do?" Lisa replied, looking directly into the camera before the shot onto a photograph of Apu was zoomed with the message "Did not have a cow".
"Some things will be dealt with later," Marge said before Lisa added, "If at all."
The answer became even more critical as many fans thought the scene was flat, Azaria said to Colbert, he "has nothing to do with writing or uttering."
"Apu does not speak in this segment," he said, "It was a late addition that I saw at about the same time as everyone else in America, so I did not know it would be in [the episode] until I saw it. "
" I think if anyone has got away from this segment and feels like they are lightening up or making a joke better or a thicker one It's certainly not my nature, "he continued," This is definitely not the message I want to send out. "
Colbert nudged the actor for his thoughts on how the show felt Apu should approach.
"I've got vi ele thought. As I said, my eyes were opened, "Azaria said," and I think the most important thing is that we have to listen to the South Asian people in this country when they talk about what they feel and how they think about that character – and what their American experience is. "
" Listening to voices on television means getting into the writer's room, "he continued," I really do not want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the room a way, but really inform which new direction this character may take, including how it is pronounced or not pronounced. I'm completely ready and happy to step aside or help transform it into something new. I really hope that The Simpsons do that. Not only does it make sense, it just feels like it's right for me. "