'The Simpsons' Apu is practically a slur at this point': Hank Azaria says he feels 'apologetic' for character's racist portrayal

'I apologise for my part in creating and participating in that,' Hank Azaria says about endorsing racial stereotypes through the role.

FP Trending April 13, 2021 12:59:58 IST
'The Simpsons' Apu is practically a slur at this point': Hank Azaria says he feels 'apologetic' for character's racist portrayal

American actor Hank Azaria was a recent guest on the Armchair Expert weekly podcast, where he spoke on several topics. One of the highlights of his conversations included the lessons he learned from playing the role Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on the popular sitcom The Simpsons.

Azaria says his character Apu is “practically a slur,” and he feels apologetic for endorsing racial stereotypes through the role. It was not the first time where the iconic Fox cartoon came under fire due to the character's racially stereotypical behaviour which has been compounded by the fact that he was voiced by a Caucasian actor.

On Monday’s episode of the podcast, Azaria opened up about his interaction with a 17-year-old Indian, who hadn’t ever watched the show but understood what Apu stood for.

“I was speaking at my son’s school, I was talking to the Indian kids there because I wanted to get their input. A 17-year-old … he’s never even seen The Simpsons but knows what Apu means. It’s practically a slur at this point. All he knows is that is how his people are thought of and represented to many people in this country,” Azaria said.

The actor further revealed that the boy, “with tears in his eyes,” asked him to tell Hollywood writers that what they do has consequences on people’s lives to which Azaria said that he would deliver the message.

During the show, the actor asserted that it’s important for him to apologise to the Indians. “I really do apologise. It’s important. I apologise for my part in creating that and participating in that. Part of me feels like I need to go to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologise. And sometimes I do,” he added.

Azaria, who quit the show last year, took several seminars and even spoke to Indians to understand why the character was problematic.

Updated Date:

also read

'Proud of Pose's legacy, it's more important than the show itself': Ryan Murphy hails series' biggest LGBTQ+ cast ever
Entertainment

'Proud of Pose's legacy, it's more important than the show itself': Ryan Murphy hails series' biggest LGBTQ+ cast ever

Calling Pose 'a personal show' to him, Ryan Murphy, who has co-created the show debuting its third and final season, recounts how networks wouldn't allow him to have a single gay character on his shows when he started out.

'A whole different ball game:' Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani on turning hosts in Amazon Prime Video India's LOL - Hasse toh Phasse
Entertainment

'A whole different ball game:' Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani on turning hosts in Amazon Prime Video India's LOL - Hasse toh Phasse

Hosts Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, and comedians Sunil Grover, Aditi Mittal, Cyrus Broacha and Suresh Menon weigh in on being a part of LOL - Hasse toh Phasse and competing with old friends and co-workers.

'A kid in a candy store': Without Remorse star Michael B Jordan on being part of the Tom Clancy universe
Entertainment

'A kid in a candy store': Without Remorse star Michael B Jordan on being part of the Tom Clancy universe

Without Remorse star Michael B Jordan opens up about fostering inclusivity in Hollywood, and striking comfortable balance between entertainment and activism.