Hank Azaria Says He’s Done Voicing ‘The Simpsons’ Apu
It’s been more than two years since the release of The Problem With Apu, comedian Hari Kondabolu’s film about the long-running Indian character on The Simpsons voiced by white actor Hank Azaria, and about the way the Apu character has not only offended South Asians, but come to negatively impact their lives. Although Azaria himself said he was willing to “step aside” from Apu in the wake of Kondabolu’s documentary, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening was not moved by the film, claiming back in 2018 that the complaints were mostly from people who “love to pretend they’re offended.” The show even created an episode, 2018’s “No Good Read Goes Unpunished” that attempted to dismiss the controversy. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t work.)
While Groening himself might not have publicly changed his mind, Hank Azaria told /Film this week that he “won’t be doing the voice [of Apu] anymore.” Calling it a decision the whole team made “together,” he also added that “we all feel like it’s the right thing.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean you will never see Apu again on The Simpsons, although Azaria told /Film that particular decision is out of his hands:
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.
It may be that Apu simply stops appearing on the show; he would not be the first Simpsons supporting character to be retired for one reason or another. Either way, the show isn’t going anywhere. Last year, The Simpsons was renewed for a 31st and 32nd season, which will bring the total number of episodes produced over 700. And all of the episodes — including the old ones starring Apu as well as “No Good Read Goes Unpunished” — are currently streaming on Disney+.
Gallery — The Best TV Shows on Disney+: