Entertainment Hank Azaria: ‘The Simpsons’ Will ‘Definitely Address’ The Debate Over His Character Apu

08:26  13 january  2018
08:26  13 january  2018 Source:   Variety

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Hank Azaria has provided the voice for The Simpsons ' Apu for nearly 30 years, with the character more recently catching criticism for the stereotypical portrayal of an Indian convenience store clerk. Azaria has confirmed that the show will " definitely address " the issue in some capacity.

’ The Simpsons ’ actor Hank Azaria addresses criticisms of his Indian character Apu in response to Hari Kondabolu’s documentary ‘The Problem With Apu .’ Enter your email address or username and we’ll email instructions on how to reset your password.

Hank Azaria with collar shirt: Hank Azaria, left, and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the character he voices on 'The Simpsons'.© AZARIA: DAVID BUCHAN/VARIETY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK Hank Azaria, left, and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the character he voices on 'The Simpsons'.

“The Simpsons” producers are definitely going to address the controversy over the show’s character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, said Hank Azaria, who voices the role.

Speaking to reporters at the Television Critics Assn. press tour Friday in Pasadena, Calif., Azaria said he was aware of the concerns raised by comedian Hari Kondabolu in his documentary “The Problem with Apu,” which argues that the character, a convenience store owner, perpetuates negative stereotypes.

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Hank Azaria Says The Simpsons May Address The Problem With Apu . The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria talks The Problem With Apu documentary, and says the show may address criticisms of the character .

But Hank Azaria , who voices the character , is indicating that the matter will be addressed , with possible changes to Apu . “The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased or worse based on the character of Apu on The Simpsons

“The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased or worse based on the character of Apu on ‘The Simpsons,’ the voice or any other tropes of the character is distressing,” said Azaria. “And especially in post 9/11 America, the idea that anybody was marginalized based on it or had a hard time was very upsetting to me personally and professionally.”

Azaria, who has played Apu for nearly 30 years on the Fox sitcom (and earned three Emmy Awards for his work), said he only ever intended to “make people laugh and bring joy,” he said. “So that it caused any kind of pain or suffering in any way, it’s disturbing, actually.”

Azaria said “The Simpsons” exists on that fine line between what’s funny and what’s insulting. “’The Simpsons’ over the years has been pretty humorously offensive to all manner of people Republicans, Brazilians, presidents, high school principals, school principals, Italians, you name it,” he said. “And they take a lot of pride over there in not apologizing for any of that. I think, over the years, they’ve done a really good job of being, shall we say, uniformly offensive without being outright hurtful.”

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Hank Azaria Says He Has Learned Much From 'The Problem With Apu '. "The most important thing to do is listen," Azaria said in response to the documentary that argues his beloved Simpsons character perpetuates a racial stereotype. GettyFOX/Contributor.

Hank Azaria , the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons , addressed the controversy surrounding the character at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena Friday, offering a heartfelt, contextual response to a reporter's question about his take on the issue.

Going forward, though, he said “The Simpsons” producers will address the controversy, although what they ultimately decide to do is not up to him. “They are giving it a lot of thought,” he said. “We’ve discussed it a little bit, and they will definitely address, maybe publicly, but certainly creatively within the context of the show, what they want to do, if anything, differently with the character.”

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