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'As far as a word I swear': Hank Azaria beats mea culpa for portraying Apu in The Simpsons

‘As far as a word I swear’: Hank Azaria beats mea culpa for portraying Apu in The Simpsons

Hank Azaria says he allowed years to criticize Apu’s character by drowning out. at Armchair expert, Podcast by duo actor Dax Shepherd and Monica Padman, the white actor apologized Monday for his portrayal of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon in the longest running animated series in the world. The Simpsons. Realizes that It has added fuel to the flames of “structural racism” in the United States.

Apu, a computer science physician but nonetheless director of Kwik-E-Mart in Springfield, speaks with a strong Indian accent and rife with cultural stereotypes. The character came under fire in 2017 after the release of Harry Kondapolo’s docu The problem with Apu. For example, the American comedian has said that he has been bullied all his life with the infamous Apu logo.Thank you, come again“.

“Bad word”

Azaria describes in his podcast how he met a 17-year-old boy of Indian descent The Simpsons He had never seen it before, but he knew what Apu “means”. “It’s as good as the word right now,” the actor said. Azaria did not take into account any hints of racism about the role when he started it: “I didn’t think about it. I wasn’t aware of how much comparative advantage I had in this country as a white boy from Queens.” He adds that his intentions were pure, but that does not change the fact that it had negative repercussions.

Apu is well-known – or infamous – for his “Thank You, Come Again” melody.RV photo

Then Azaria spoke directly to Padman, the American Indian podcast host. “I know you didn’t ask for it,” he said, “but it is important.” Sorry for my role in creating it and participating in it. Part of me feels compelled to visit every Indian in this country to apologize. ”

Stop ammunition

At the start of last year, Azaria had already decided to cut Apu out of his cool set of over 150 Simpsons. “Once I realized that this was the way the character was perceived, I didn’t want to be involved in it anymore. It looked like it was at the time. In the aftermath, Matt Groening announced The Simpsons, Later that year he indicated that from now on white actors no longer give voice to colorful characters.

Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons.  Contour photo by Getty Images
Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons.Build Contour via Getty Images

The series is still looking for a new voice actor for Apu. But in one Interview he met USA Today In March, Groening has already lifted a portion of the veil in regards to the character’s future. “We are working on something very ambitious. I can’t say more than that.” And quite mysteriously: “We have plans for Apu, but we still have to see if we can make the stories work.”

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