[28], In April 2018, The Simpsons reacted to the controversy surrounding Apu in the episode "No Good Read Goes Unpunished". The decision to remove Azaria from voicing Apu was mutual, the actor said, according to /Film. Lisa then glanced at a framed photograph of Apu inscribed with the message, "Don't have a cow.". [27] In 2017, Kondabolu released the hour-long documentary The Problem with Apu; in the film, Kondabolu interviews other actors and comics of South Asian heritage about the impact that the character of Apu has had on their lives and the perception of South Asians in American culture. Apu is voiced by white actor Hank Azaria who puts on a voice to make himself sound of Indian descent. He spends the days following the auction on a whirlwind of dates, which suddenly end when his mother announces his arranged marriage to a woman named Manjula, whom he had not seen since childhood. "[31] Kondabolu had a positive reaction to Azaria's comments. 7-Elevens Get Kwik-E Makeover", "Not all Indians think Apu is a racist stereotype", "TruTV Greenlights Feature-Length Documentary and Pilot From Hari Kondabolu", "Apu actor 'willing to step aside' from role", "If you kill off Apu, why not the whole cast? The voice actor who plays the Indian character Apu in The Simpsons has said he is stepping down from the role, following years of controversy. A 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu, written by and starring comedian Hari Kondabolu, critiqued the character as being a South Asian stereotype, which later led to Azaria announcing he was stepping down as the voice of the character so long as he maintains his current personality. Marge introduces Lisa to her favorite childhood book, but is shocked by its racist stereotypes and attempts to rewrite it to suit modern sensitivities. Groening told a fan at a convention that Apu would still be on The Simpsons and that could still be true. He was voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". "The idea that anybody -- young or old, past or present -- was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad," said Azaria, who voices other characters on the show. Hank Azaria, the actor who voices Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (and many, many other characters) on The Simpsons, will officially no longer be voicing the Kwik-E-Mart owner.Azaria has played Apu … He has starred in several of The Simpsons episodes, including episodes about his religion and episodes about the Kwik-E-Mart. What can you do?" However, Azaria also acknowledged that he does not have control over the character's future and that the decision was made in unison with the Simpsons production crew. [44][46] Azaria had followed the debate over the previous years since Kondabolu's essay and documentary, read up on and attended seminars on racism and social consciousness, and spoke to Indian-American colleagues including fellow actor Utkarsh Ambudkar (who had performed as Apu's nephew in "Much Apu About Something") about the situation. "[1] He was voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". [40] On October 29, executive producer Al Jean responded to the speculation and stated that "Adi Shankar does not speak for our show". ", "Matt Groening confirms what's happening with Apu on The Simpsons", "Hank Azaria will reportedly no longer voice Apu on, "Why Hank Azaria Won't Play Apu on 'The Simpsons' Anymore", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Apu_Nahasapeemapetilon&oldid=996833752, Fictional immigrants to the United States, Fictional people with acquired American citizenship, Fictional vegan and vegetarian characters, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 20:57. However, he is won over when he meets Manjula at the wedding, and the two decide to give the marriage a try, with Manjula noting nonchalantly that they can always get a divorce. He remained an illegal immigrant until Mayor Quimby proposed a municipal law to expel all undocumented aliens. Later, the two actually fall in love. [18], Apu's image has been widely licensed, on items ranging from board games to auto air fresheners. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is a recurring character in the animated TV series The Simpsons. He came to understand the issues around the character of Apu compared to the other stereotypical characters on The Simpsons was the idea of permissible use, which led to his decision to quit voicing Apu. It is a morphophonological blend of the name "Pahasadee Napetilon", the full name of a schoolmate of Simpsons writer Jeff Martin. He is an Indian-American immigrant proprietor who runs the Kwik-E-Mart, a popular convenience store in Springfield, and is best known for his catchphrase, "Thank you, come again. Apu wasn’t the only Simpsons character voiced by a white actor, though, and in June, producers released a statement saying that “moving forward, The Simpsons will … All we've agreed on is I won't do the voice anymore.". Hank Azaria says he is officially stepping down as the voice of Apu on “The Simpsons.” “I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something,” Azaria… basically. [5] He and his family are devout Hindus, and he particularly venerates Ganesha. [19][20], Apu's portrayal has been argued to be a racist caricature. A voice actor for hit animated series The Simpsons has said he will no longer voice the controversial character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian-born convenience store owner. [35] In October 2018, in the South Park episode "The Problem with a Poo", Mr. Hankey is expelled and sent to a land where "people don't care about bigotry and hate" – Springfield. Apu has another younger brother, who is only mentioned in "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons", where Apu was shown on a chart as the oldest of three. Hank Azaria is opening up about his decision to retire voicing Apu on "The Simpsons.". over transition, Here's what the new stimulus package means for Americans, Stelter: Notable that Fox News hasn't promoted this, Ana Navarro blasts Rubio over tweet about Fauci, Breonna Taylor bust vandalized in Oakland, California, West Coast storms provide much needed drought relief, 'The Simpsons' producer responds to claim Apu is leaving (2018), longest-running prime-time scripted series. ", The comedian Hari Kondabolu -- whose 2017 documentary, "The Problem with Apu," thrust controversy over the character into the mainstream --, "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)," Kondabolu wrote. During the episode "Bart-Mangled Banner", when the town changes its name to Libertyville to be patriotic after it is claimed Springfield hates America, Apu temporarily changes his children's names to Lincoln, Freedom, Condoleezza, Coke, Pepsi, Manifest Destiny, Apple Pie, and Superman. Apu first appeared in the season one episode "The Telltale Head". Apu’s character has been accused of reinforcing racial stereotypes. He's a … He also is a character players acquire fairly early on in the open-ended online game The Simpsons: Tapped Out. She then looks at a picture of Apu with "Don't have a cow, man" written on it, and the two characters say that the issue will be dealt with later, if at all. "[38], Hugo Rifkind bemoaned in The Times the prevalent attitude to create offense – nobody needs to be actually offended, the possibility that somebody might be offended is enough. [13], Apu's first name is an homage to the main character in The Apu Trilogy directed by Satyajit Ray. Many have argued that this is not acceptable, and Hank Azaria stepped down from the … Sanjay has a daughter named Pahasatira, and a son named Jamshed, all of whom share the Nahasapeemapetilon surname. ", 'Simpsons' voice actor has regret over Apu, See GOP senator's reaction to Trump's 'death wish' tweet, Watch McConnell block effort to quickly increase stimulus checks, Kamala Harris receives her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Congressman sues Pence for attempts to overturn election, Joe Biden considers cuts to Trump's nuclear program, Rain, snow, and ice in store for Central US, Bombing suspect's neighbor shares details of last conversation, 6 states facing record coronavirus hospitalizations, What we know about the Nashville bombing suspect, 'Irresponsibility': Biden hits Trump admin. [10] His surname is Nahasapeemapetilon, and it was first used in the episode "A Streetcar Named Marge". Rich Appel first constructed the idea for Apu's marriage. [33][34] Dana Walden, the CEO of 20th Century Fox Television, said in an August 2018 interview in regard to the Apu controversy that the network trusts the showrunners "to handle it in the way that's best for the show". Apu responded by purchasing a forged birth certificate from the Springfield Mafia that listed his parents as American citizens Herb and Judy Nahasapeemapetilon from Green Bay, Wisconsin, but when he realized he was forsaking his origins, he abandoned this plan and instead successfully managed to pass his citizenship test with help from Lisa and Homer Simpson. Hank Azaria Retires as Voice of ‘Simpsons’ Apu. CNN's Lisa Respers France contributed to this report. In the three decades that he has been a voice actor on “The Simpsons,” Hank Azaria has played dozens of Springfield’s absurd denizens on that long-running animated Fox … Apu could remain on The Simpsons. Hank Azaria says he will no longer voice the Indian immigrant convenience store owner Apu on "The Simpsons." Apu is a playable character in The Simpsons: Hit & Run video game. [15] Andrea Martin provided the voice of Apu's mother in the episode, recording her part in New York. [41] On August 27, 2019, several sources reported that Groening had confirmed Apu's continued position on the show during the Simpsons panel at Disney's D23 Expo, telling a fan who asked whether or not Apu would remain "Yes. [37] Al Jean also tweeted about the episode "It's actually in favor of us saying people are too critical. Simpsons creator Matt Groening stated in August 2019 that Apu will remain on the show. [32], In an interview with USA Today, creator Matt Groening dismissed the criticism of the Apu character, saying, "I think it's a time in our culture where people love to pretend they're offended". Azaria said, "There hasn't been an outcry over these [other] characters [which play on non-South Asian stereotypes] because people feel they're represented. [14][9], Apu marries Manjula in the episode "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons". [6], Sanjay (voiced by Harry Shearer), Apu's brother, helps run the Kwik-E-Mart. Now, it looks like Azaria, the voice of Apu himself, with stop voicing the character altogether. "We all agreed on it," he said. [22][26] In a 2007 interview, Azaria acknowledged some of this criticism when he recalled a conversation with the writers of the show during the inception of the character: "Right away they were like 'Can you do an Indian accent and how offensive can you make it?' [17] Hank Azaria has won three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, winning in 1998 for his performance as Apu, again in 2001 for "Worst Episode Ever", and a third time in 2003 for "Moe Baby Blues" for voicing several characters, including Apu. Actor Hank Azaria, who is white, has been the voice of Apu since 1990. The episode ended with a title card, #cancelthesimpsons, similar to the promo for South Park which called for the cancellation of itself. Fox, which airs the show, says "The Simpsons" has no comment. The decision comes five months after actor Hank Azaria announced he would no longer be voicing Apu… In 1985, Apu was a member of the barbershop quartet The Be Sharps, along with Homer Simpson, Barney Gumble, and Principal Seymour Skinner. Related Topics: featured, Masterclass, Nancy Cartwright, Simpsons. "It's up to them, and they haven't sorted it out yet. Merchandising Apu has had four action figures in the World of Springfield line. [21][22] During the 2007 7-Eleven promotion, some members of the Indian-American community voiced concerns that Apu is a caricature that plays on too many negative stereotypes. Two years later, The Simpsons creators have yet to make any changes to the show, despite unsubstantiated rumors that have included replacing Azaria with a South Asian voice actor or phasing Apu out completely. Hank Azaria, the voice actor responsible for iconic Simpsons voices like Moe, Chief Wiggum, and Comic Book Guy, will be dropping one famous character from his repertoire: Apu. Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. He also loosely based it on Peter Sellers' character Hrundi V. Bakshi from the film The Party, whom Azaria thinks has a similar personality to Apu. Zack Sharf Feb 25, … "It was certainly not my intention," he said. Kondabolu said that he was saddened by the show's dismissive take on the controversy. [10] Azaria, however, has disputed this account, claiming instead that the writers asked him to create a stereotypical Indian accent for the character. [19][20][23], According to Hari Kondabolu, in a Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell web-exclusive segment, there is a negative reaction to Apu in the Indian-American community, as well as the greater Desi community. Don't get rid of Apu. [4] Apu is a vegan, as revealed in the season 7 episode "Lisa the Vegetarian". '"[11][12] In a 2013 interview with The Huffington Post, Azaria said it should not be expected that the character's accent would "suddenly change now" or that the character would be written out, saying, "I'd be surprised if [the show's writers] write him any less frequently because he's offensive. The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria, who has voiced the Indian shopkeeper Apu throughout the series’ run, has now responded to concerns … Apu tries to get out of the arrangement at first, with Marge Simpson pretending to be his wife, until Apu's mother finds her with Homer. In July 2007, convenience store chain 7-Eleven converted 11 of its stores in the United States and one in Canada into Kwik-E-Marts to celebrate the release of The Simpsons Movie. Apu's surname, Nahasapeemapetilon, is an anagram of the name Pahasanee Mapetilon, which are the first and last names of a schoolmate of Simpsons writer Jeff Martin. Hank Azaria will no longer voice the character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons, which puts an end to a run that started in 1990.This apparently now … Hank Azaria will no longer voice Apu on "The Simpsons" and tells The New York Times, "What happened with this character is a window into an important issue." There are many ways to keep Apu … (CNN)After 30 years as a controversial Indian-American character on "The Simpsons," Hank Azaria has announced he will no longer voice the thickly accented Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. "[47], While Azaria will no longer voice the character, Groening confirmed that Apu will remain on The Simpsons. 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