- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Voice actor Hank Azaria says it may be time to “step aside” from his character Apu on “The Simpsons” due to complaints by South Asian and Indian critics.

Persistent calls since 2017 for 20th Century Fox and its “Simpsons” talent to address “Apu” criticism were answered Tuesday night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Mr. Azaria said complaints that were amplified by last year’s documentary “The Problem with Apu” brought him to an epiphany.

“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,” he said.

A recent episode of the long-running show (29 seasons) framed complaints about stereotyping Indian-Americans as little more than politically correct noise.

Mr. Azaria offered a different take.

“Listening to voices means inclusion in the writers’ room,” he added. “I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the room, not in a token way, but genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take, including how it is voiced or not voiced. You know, I’m perfectly willing and happy to step aside or help transition it into something new.”

“Thank you, @HankAzaria. I appreciate what you said & how you said it,” replied comedian Hari Kondabolu on Tuesday night.

Mr. Kondabolu also starred in “The Trouble with Apu.”

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