The Simpsons Actor Hank Azaria Says He Will No Longer Voice Apu
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The actor is stepping down from portraying the Indian character after years of controversy.

Hank Azaria will not be the voice of Apu from "The Simpsons" any longer.

The actor has portrayed the Indian convenience store owner character from the Fox animation hit since 1990, but allegations of reinforcing racial stereotypes in Apu's depiction have surfaced in recent years.

"All we know there is I won't be doing the voice anymore, unless there's some way to transition it or something," the 55-year-old told the website SlashFilm.

"We all made the decision together," Azaria said. "We all agreed on it. We all feel like it's the right thing and good about it."

"What they're going to do with the character is their call."

In the show, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is in an arranged marriage with eight children and speaks accented English.

The depiction has been accused of being founded on racial stereotypes and was highlighted in the 2017 documentary "The Problem With Apu" by comedian Hari Kondabolu.

At the time, Azaria said "the idea that anybody was marginalized based on it or had a hard time was very upsetting to me personally and professionally" during a Television Critics Association panel.

"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," he continued.

"The intent was to make people laugh and to bring joy. So that it caused any kind of pain or suffering in any way, it's disturbing, actually."

Kondabolu reacted to the news of Azaria stepping down on Twitter, saying he hopes the character remains on the show.

"My documentary 'The Problem with Apu' was not made to get rid of a dated cartoon character, but to discuss race, representation & my community (which I love very much). It was also about how you can love something (like the Simpsons) & still be critical about aspects of it (Apu)," he shared.

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