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14 May 2021 18:50
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  •   Home > News > Entertainment

    Hank Azaria has apologised to "every single Indian person" for voicing Apu in 'The Simpsons'

    The 56-year-old actor has expressed his regret about portraying the Indian shopkeeper on the long-running sitcom, after standing down from the role last year amid accusations of racial stereotyping


    Speaking to Dax Shepard and Monica Padman on the 'Armchair Expert' podcast, he said: "I really do apologise. I know you weren’t asking for that but it’s important. I apologise for my part in creating that and participating in that.

    "Part of me feels I need to go round to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologise."

    Hank - who joined the iconic comedy series in 1989 - now concedes that the character contributed towards "structural racism" in the US.

    However, he also insisted that, for a long time, he simply "didn't know any better".

    He said: "I really didn’t know any better. I didn’t think about it.

    "I was unaware how much relative advantage I had received in this country as a white kid from Queens.

    "Just because there were good intentions it doesn’t mean there weren’t real negative consequences to the thing that I am accountable for."

    In the sitcom, Apu runs the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store and various storylines involving the character - like the time he acquired a forged birth certificate from local mobsters - have provoked criticism over the years.

    Hari Kondabolu - the comedian who made the 2017 documentary, 'The Problem with Apu' - has welcomed Hank's apology on Twitter.

    However, he also sees it as "comeuppance" for the sitcom.

    He wrote on the micro-blogging platform: "The “Apu Controversy” is not real. Racism isn’t “controversial,” it’s a constant. Unless you think People of Color finally standing up for themselves is “controversial.”

    "However, I suppose a word like “controversy” is more clickable than “comeuppance.” (sic)"

    © 2021 Bang Showbiz, NZCity


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