Following the release of Hari Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem With Apu, which examined the Simpsons character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and how he enforced a caricature of South Asians, voice actor Hank Azaria (who is not South Asian) said that he was “perfectly willing and happy to step aside, or help transition it into something new.” It’s still unclear what The Simpsons creative team will do with the Kwik-E-Mart employee, who, if I’m remembering correctly, has been conspicuously absent through the first 11 episodes of season 31. But if Apu does return, he will no longer be voiced by Azaria.
“All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something,” Azaria told Slash Film while appearing at the Television Critics Association winter press tour to promote the fourth and final season of IFC’s (very good!) Brockmire. “What they’re going to do with the character is their call. It’s up to them and they haven’t sorted it out yet. All we’ve agreed on is I won’t do the voice anymore.”
This is the obvious solution, to not have a white guy pretend to sound like an Indian immigrant, but after Matt Groening’s “people love to pretend that they’re offended” comments, it was anyone’s guess what The Simpsons would actually do. Now we know! Azaria also said that “we all made the decision together,” so it sounds like Groening calmed down, and is no longer as upset as when Apu hears about Skinner’s script.
The Simpsons isn’t The Simpsons without Apu. Just find a different voice actor.
(Via Slash Film)