The Simpsons has been around for thirty seasons – a landmark for an animated series. Over the years, the series has become iconic. From all of the famous quotes, the predictions about the future, and the fact that “the Simpsons did it first”. No matter how old you are, the Simpsons is something you know well. If you didn’t know, the problematic issue surrounding one particular character had light shed on it in Hari Kondabolu’s documentary called ‘The Problem with Apu’. Apu is an Indian immigrant who is voiced by Hank Azaria. Azaria has been voicing the character since the show’s creation in 1989. The problem is, Azaria is a Greek/Spanish, white American. Not Indian.
The fact that someone who is not Indian has been imitating an Indian accent for a character for so long was brought to the public’s attention due to Kondabolu’s documentary. Since then, Azaria has voiced that he would be willing to step down from voicing the character. Al Jean and Matt Groening though had not tackled the issue, though; after that.
Now, though; it has been confirmed that Azaria will no longer voice Apu. Azaria stated:
“All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s some way to transition it or something.”
What will happen to Apu, that hasn’t been explained yet. They could always, you know…get an Indian actor to do so? Azaria commented:
“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.”
Azaria then continued to say that it was a unanimous decision:
“We all made the decision together. We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it.”
Azaria voices other characters on the show, so he’s going to be fine. Maybe, once upon a time; this sort of casting seemed to not even be a thought in the Simpson’s creators’ hands. We’re now in the 21st century where we can acknowledge that there’s nothing right about someone who is not Indian feigning an Indian accent. What they do with Apu, we don’t know, but it is good that the actor and the creators have acknowledged that it was time to right this wrong.
Source: Slash Film
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