The Real Reason Why Hank Azaria Will No Longer Be Voicing Apu on ‘The Simpsons’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Hank Azaria at The Simpsons 400th Episode Block Party

The Simpsons is mostly about to make an important modification.

Comedy has become subjective. But due to the fact globe in particular has become much more mindful of variety and representation, what’s and it isn’t funny is just starting to transform. With that, even longheld portrayals of females, the LGBT community, and folks of shade face the scrutiny of today’s point of view.

That indicates also properties because beloved as The Simpsons need certainly to at the very least consider upgrading their particular sensibilities for a contemporary market. The show’s Springfield is definitely inhabited by over-the-top stereotypes and exaggerations. But probably the most criticized was Apu, the friendly Indian owner of this Kwik-E-Mart. Now it appears to be like The Simpsons is eventually making some enduring modifications.

Hank Azaria at The Simpsons 400th Episode Block Party
Hank Azaria at The Simpsons 400th Episode Block Party | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Hank Azaria reveals he’s retiring through the part of Apu

For years, rumors have actually swirled around just how The Simpsons would deal with Apu in light of current controversies. Now, in a job interview with Slashfilm, star Hank Azaria provided a definitive improvement regarding the character’s future. Azaria has actually voiced countless figures, including Apu, since The Simpsons debuted.

“I won’t be doing the voice anymore unless there’s some way to transition it or something,” the actor stated. “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.”

In today’s political weather, we imagine this choice are going to be fulfilled with a divisive reaction through the show’s fans. Some may hold to your “it’s just a joke” protection, but Apu does express a cultural caricature that seems egregiously away from destination today.

[embedded content]

‘The Problem with Apu’ while the resulting controversy

Azaria had been quick to simplify it had been a unanimous choice behind-the-scenes when it comes to star to vacate the part. He had formerly stated he’d be ready to move apart, but nothing cement previously emerged from it so far. Azaria evidently hadn’t understood the possibility harm Apu had regarding the Indian neighborhood. But that changed straight back in 2017.

That year, the matter actually boiled to your surface when comedian Hari Kondabolu circulated a documentary named The Problem with Apu. The 49-minute movie analyzes The Simpsons character into the framework of just how Western culture had represented Southeast Asian folks. To be reasonable, Apu’s catchphrase “Thank you, come again” has actually since been co-opted as a mocking reference point.

The issue, the movie contends, is two-fold. On the main one hand, the smoothness of Apu is a walking, talking bundle of stereotypes that has ruled Southeast Asian representation. On the various other, that problematic depiction is compounded because of the proven fact that Azaria — a white man — works his vocals.

Does this suggest Apu is making ‘The Simpsons’?

Now that Azaria won’t be supplying the vocals of Apu any more, the real question is just how The Simpsons will deal with the smoothness. Will he be eliminated, or will the program recast the part? Given the outcry from the Southeast Asian community, maybe rehabilitating the smoothness is one step into the correct path. At the lowest, a culturally precise star could deliver his very own viewpoint to Apu.

After more than 30 years regarding the atmosphere, it will be impressive if The Simpsons has the capacity to effectively navigate the smoothness from this debate. Yet, even recognizing the damage Apu had caused today is motivating. Entertainment — yes, also animated comedy — is a reflection around the globe around us all.

Even accidentally, playing to your least expensive typical denominator and apparently mocking a whole neighborhood is not any longer a laughing matter. Kudos to Azaria and the group at The Simpsons for recognizing that and using some responsibility.

Leave a Comment