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The actor who plays Apu on The Simpsons says he's willing to step aside

“It just feels like the right thing to do to me.”

 

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / YouTube

 

HANK AZARIA, WHO has played Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons says he would be willing to step aside.

The character has attracted controversy for some time, with the programme addressing it in what was described as a hamfisted way earlier this month.

Over the past few years, criticism has been directed at the show for how the Kwik-E-Mart proprietor is portrayed – from his thick accent to his stereotypical job as a convenience store owner.

A new documentary, The Problem With Apu, put a spotlight on the issue when it aired last November, as it focused on the feelings of South Asian Americans towards the character and the show.

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Speaking last night on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, Azaria urged the show’s creators to listen to criticisms of the character.

“I’ve given this a lot of thought and my eyes have been opened.

I think the most important thing is to listen to south Asian and Indian people in this country and what their experience with it has been. Listening to voices means inclusion in the writers’ room. I really want to see Indian, south Asian writers in the writers’ room, not in a token way genuinely informing whichever direction this character takes.

“I’m perfectly willing to step aside or help transition it to something new. I really hope that’s what The Simpsons does.

“It just feels like the right thing to do to me.”

A new documentary The Problem With Apu, outlines many of the issues that surround Apu’s character.

On the show, Apu runs the Kwik-E-Mart, where he sells expired food, rips off customers and delivers the sing-songy slogan, “Thank you, come again”.

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