WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE

Hank Azaria Willing to ‘Step Aside’ From ‘Simpsons’ Apu Role

Actor Hank Azaria says he is prepared to stop voicing the character of Apu on The Simpsons after a recent uproar “opened his eyes” to the stereotypes at play in the depiction of the Indian immigrant. Speaking to Stephen Colbert on The Late Show on Tuesday night, Azaria said the issue of stereotyping in his portrayal of Apu had come to his “attention more and more over the years.” A 2017 documentary, The Problem With Apu, argued that the show’s portrayal of Apu—the only South Asian character on The Simpsons—fueled negative stereotypes. “The idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad,” Azaria told Colbert. Asked what will become of Apu in the future, Azaria said his priority is to “listen to Indian people and their experience with it,” but if it comes down to it, he would be willing to “step aside.” “It just feels like the right thing to do to me,” he said.