Hank Azaria finally addressed “the problem with Apu,” and even offered some solutions.
“I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the room,” he said, while on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” “Not in a token way, but genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take, including how it is voiced or not voiced. I’m perfectly willing and happy to step aside or help transition it into something new. I really hope that’s what ‘The Simpsons’ does.”
The longtime “Simpsons” voice actor went on Colbert and responded to Hari Kondabolu’s documentary about how the Indian character perpetuates stereotypes.
“The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased, based on the character of Apu it just really makes me sad,” Azaria stated.
His comments come on the heels of the show’s response in a scene from an episode called “No Good Read Goes Unpunished,” in which the characters discuss how some things were once funny but are now politically incorrect. Some criticized the episode for being tone-deaf, and they have yet to announce any changes regarding their controversial characters.
But Azaria’s suggestions seem like a perfectly thoughtful and cromulent place to start.