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Old 01-17-2020, 09:13 PM   #1
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Default Hank Azaria reportedly says he'll no longer voice The Simpsons' Apu

https://www.slashfilm.com/apu-voice-actor/

"All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something," Azaria told Slashfilm at the TV press tour while promoting the final season of Brockmire. Azaria added that it was a mutual decision between him and The Simpsons producers. “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.” Azaria added: “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 stepping down comes less than two years after he told Stephen Colbert he was willing to step aside from the role. “I’ve given this a lot of thought, really a lot of thought, and as I say my eyes have been opened," he said in the April 2018 Late Show interview. "And I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country and they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character and what their American experience of it has been.” The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean has yet to comment on Azaria's reported remarks. The character Apu has become increasingly scrutinized in recent years as more Indian-Americans become prominent in mainstream media. Comedian Hari Kondabolu's 2017 TruTV documentary The Problem with Apu especially drew attention to accusations that the Apu character is racist. In response to Azaria's comments, Kondabalu said he hopes The Simpsons keeps Apu. "If @HankAzaria is indeed no longer doing the voice of Apu, I do hope they keep the character & let a very talented writing staff do something interesting with him," Kondabolu tweeted. "If not to better the show, then to atleast spare me some death threats. 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). Most people who saw the documentary like it & those that didn’t see it...hate it. You can see it on Amazon, truTV app & other places. Feel free to watch it by legal or illegal means. I don’t get paid more either way & it’s the message of the film that has the most value to me."
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:28 PM   #2
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Hank Azaria says he educated himself before quitting The Simpsons' Apu character

In his first in-depth interview since revealing he quit the Apu role, Azaria tells The New York Times he knew that there was a controversy brewing around Apu for years, even before comedian Hari Kondabolu's The Problem with Apu documentary was released in 2017. But at the time, he was unsure what to do. “I didn’t want to knee-jerk drop it if I didn’t feel that was right, nor did I want to stubbornly keep doing it if that wasn’t right,” he says. Azaria says he decided to educate himself about the impact of Apu's character on Indian-Americans, reading articles about representation and attending seminars about racism and social consciousness. “Once I realized that that was the way this character was thought of, I just didn’t want to participate in it anymore,” says Azaria. “It just didn’t feel right.” Azaria also consulted with the actor Utkarsh Ambudkar, who appeared in The Problem with Apu and who worked with Azaria on Brockmire and The Simpsons, where he played Apu's nephew. "I felt a genuine dedication to growth, for himself, as a human being,” says Ambudkar. “He wanted to get on the right side of the narrative.” Ambudkar adds: "As a South Asian, I wish that it had happened 15 years ago. I love Hank very much, but his Indian accent is garbage.” Azaria says he modeled Apu on Peter Sellers' bumbling brownface Indian portrayal in the 1968 Blake Edwards comedy movie The Party, and had no idea it was racist. “That represents a real blind spot I had,” Azaria says with some disappointment. “There I am, joyfully basing a character on what was already considered quite upsetting.” Azaria says he also had to ask himself, as a Jewish man, what he would think if a stereotypical portrayal was the only representation of Jews in pop-culture. “But then I started thinking, if that character were the only representation of Jewish people in American culture for 20 years, which was the case with Apu, I might not love that,” he says. Kondabolu, who has always maintained that he doesn't want The Simpsons to get rid of Apu, says he's happy to see Azaria's transformation. “Whatever happens with the character, to me, is secondary,” says Kondabolu. “I’m happy that Hank did the work that a lot of people wouldn’t have. I feel like he’s a really thoughtful person and he got the bigger picture.” In a statement, the executive producers of The Simpsons said of Azaria's decision: “We respect Hank’s journey in regard to Apu. We have granted his wish to no longer voice the character.”
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Old 02-25-2020, 06:46 PM   #3
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I respect his decision too. Time for the show to evolve.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:39 PM   #4
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I saw the scene from The Party and it was cringeworthy. It doesn't hold up well today.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:57 AM   #5
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Some South Asians hope The Simpsons finds a creative way to revive Apu now that Hank Azaria has stepped away from the controversial role

"Silencing Apu is a step sideways," says Castlevania producer Adi Shankar, a vocal critic of the Apu portrayal. "It doesn't undo the damage, address the damage or benefit the show's 'creativity.' It just removes another brown face from TV." Shankar and other South Asian creatives say Apu needs a refresh. "Give Apu a spinoff," says Shankar. "We're arguing over racial constructs, this is a perfect opportunity to deconstruct it, to dissolve it and bring our species together."
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:52 PM   #6
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The Simpsons boss: If we were casting Apu now, we'd pick an "ethnically correct" actor

“If we were casting the character now, we’d cast someone who was ethnically correct to play Apu," Simpsons showrunner Al Jean tells Radio Times, in discussing the character of Indian descent who had been voiced by Hank Azaria for nearly three decades. "The way we always wrote him, though, was as a hardworking, thoughtful family man who was smarter than everyone else in Springfield. The majority of the jokes were about Springfield not appreciating what a gem he is. So we’re proud of him.”
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:23 PM   #7
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so what does he want to do now?
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