Sunday 19 August, 2018
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‘The Simpsons’ star Azaria willing to step aside from Apu following racial stereotyping controversy

Los Angeles, April 25 (IANS) Actor Hank Azaria, who voices Apu in “The Simpsons”, says he is willing to stop voicing the character following a controversy surrounding the shows racial stereotyping.

The actor spoke about the stir during his appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, reports ew.com.

“I say my eyes have been opened. And I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country, when they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it has been,” Azaria said.

Apu had to grapple with the troubling stereotype of a convenience store clerk with an exaggerated, fake Indian accent since the show’s inception.

“And I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country, when they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it has been… Listening to voices means inclusion in the writers’ room.

“I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers’ room, not in a token way, but genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take, including how it is voiced or not voiced.”

He followed that up by volunteering to stop voicing the character — or taking part in some sort of character evolution.

“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. It not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do, to me.”

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