Long-time voice actor Hank Azaria will no longer voice Apu in The Simpsons.
Apu has been a mainstay of The Simpsons for decades. However, in 2017, comedian Hari Kondabolu released a documentary called The Problem with Apu which addressed the racist stereotypes about Indian people that Apu has brought in. After this documentary came out, Apu’s role in the show declined. And whilst it was somewhat addressed in the season 29 episode “No Good Read Goes Unpunished“, with Lisa saying “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”, before the camera pans to a photo of Apu, Apu no longer had a speaking role, only appearing in background shots. Hank Azaria told SlashFilm in an interview that “All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something”
The stereotypes surrounding Apu had previously been addressed in the season 27 episode “Much Apu About Something“, which was released a year before The Problem with Apu. In this episode, Jay (voiced by Utkarsh Ambudkar), Apu’s nephew, calls Apu out on being a stereotype and attempts to change his ways. Ambudkar was also one of the people who spoke out against Apu in The Problem with Apu.
It is currently unknown if Apu will be voiced by a new actor or if the character will be retired from the show in some way. But if Apu does return in a speaking role, it will no longer be Hank Azaria voicing him.
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