Hank Azaria has confirmed that he will no longer voice the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.
It is still unclear whether the character, which was created in 1990 and has been recently accused of reinforcing racial stereotypes, will actually be dropped from the cartoon.
“What they’re going to do with the character is their call,” Azaria said. “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. … We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it.”
Controversy over the character was sparked back in 2017.
“As far as The Simpsons is concerned, it’s often a fine line between what’s comedy and what’s offensive and insulting and upsetting,” Azaria said back then.
“The Simpsons over the years have been pretty humorously offensive to all manner of people — Republicans, Brazilians, presidents, high school principals, Italians — and they take a lot of pride over there in not apologizing for any of that. I think they’ve done a really good job of being, shall we say, uniformly offensive without being outright hurtful.”