After 30 years as the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons, Hank Azaria confirmed that he will no longer be voicing the beloved character.
In an interview with Film, Azaria said that “unless there is some way to transition it or something”, then he would no longer be the voice of the Kwik-E-Mart owner. Azaria also stated the possibility of having an Indian actor voice Apu instead.
Azaria is unsure about what will happen to the character in the future, stating that, “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.”
The fictional character was the subject of controversy a couple of years ago when the Indian-American comedian, Hari Kondabolu released his documentary, “The Problem With Apu.” Kondabolu says that his documentary “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).”
On Friday, the comedian wrote on Twitter that he hopes “The Simpsons” keep Apu, and lets a “very talented writing staff do something interesting with him.”