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Voice of Apu steps aside

Hank Azaria has stepped down from his role as Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons, following a controversy surrounding his portrayal of the Indian shop clerk.

The star also voices Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, and many other characters on the hit animated U.S. TV series, but his portrayal of Apu has been shrouded with controversy since stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu criticized the character's representation - such as his over-the-top accent and exaggerated mannerisms - in the documentary The Problem With Apu.

And while Hank will continue to appear in various other roles, he told Slashfilm he "won't be doing the voice anymore, unless there's some way to transition it or something."

"We all made the decision together... We all agreed on it. We all feel like it's the right thing and good about it," he added.

Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert back in 2018, Hank insisted he'd be willing to step aside from the part if that was the right thing to do.

"I'm perfectly willing to step aside," he said, adding that it was never his intention to offend anyone with the portrayal. "I've given this a lot of thought, and as I say my eyes have been opened."

He added, "The idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad."

The Simpsons, created by Matt Groening, premiered in 1989.



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