The Simpsons actor Hank Azaria quits voicing Apu over racism controversy

Hank Azaria

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

The star also voices Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, and many more characters in the hit animated U.S. TV series, but his portrayal of Apu has been shrouded with controversy since stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu criticised 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 in the hit programme, 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 we willing to step aside from the part if that's the right thing to do.

"I’m perfectly willing to step aside. It just feels like the right thing to do to me," 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 was created by Matt Groening and first premiered in 1989.

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