Hank Azaria, who voices Apu in The Simpsons, has finally responded to a documentary that has accused the show of racial stereotyping with the character.
Comedian Hari Kondabolu's The Problem with Apu explores South Asian representation, stereotyping, racism and Azaria's accent in his documentary about Springfield's Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.
The documentary's producers suggest elements of Apu's character promote racial stereotyping including his arranged marriage, the fact that he has lots of children, and that he is defined by his convenience store.
Azaria has now expressed his sadness that his character may have caused offence to the show's Indian and Indian-American fans.
"I think the documentary made some really interesting points and gave us a lot to think about and we really are thinking about it," the Ray Donovan star told TMZ.
"Definitely anybody that was hurt or offended by it, or by any character or vocal performance, it's really upsetting that it was offensive or hurtful to anybody."
On whether this could potentially lead to changes to the character or the show, the actor went on: "I think it's an important conversation worth having. We're still thinking about it. It's a lot to digest."
Speaking to the BBC, Kondabolu explained: "Of course [Apu is] funny, but that doesn't mean this representation is accurate or right or righteous.
"It gets to the insidiousness of racism… because you don't even notice it when it's right in front of you. It becomes so normal that you don't even think about it."
The documentary, which includes interviews with comedians Whoopi Goldberg and Aziz Ansar, recently aired on TruTV.
You Might Also Like