Apu tries to get out of the arrangement at first, with Marge Simpson pretending to be his wife, until Apu's mother finds her with Homer. [41] On August 27, 2019, several sources reported that Groening had confirmed Apu's continued position on the show during the Simpsons panel at Disney's D23 Expo, telling a fan who asked whether or not Apu would remain "Yes. Groening told a fan at a convention that Apu would still be on The Simpsons and that could still be true. Hank Azaria Retires as Voice of ‘Simpsons’ Apu. He also loosely based it on Peter Sellers' character Hrundi V. Bakshi from the film The Party, whom Azaria thinks has a similar personality to Apu. [14][9], Apu marries Manjula in the episode "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons". [19][20], Apu's portrayal has been argued to be a racist caricature. Azaria said, "There hasn't been an outcry over these [other] characters [which play on non-South Asian stereotypes] because people feel they're represented. [11][12] Azaria has said that he based Apu's voice on Indian convenience store workers in Los Angeles with whom he had interacted when he first moved to the area. We're proud of Apu. Apu also makes an appearance in The Simpsons: Road Rage as a passenger and unlockable playable character. Marge introduces Lisa to her favorite childhood book, but is shocked by its racist stereotypes and attempts to rewrite it to suit modern sensitivities. "It's up to them, and they haven't sorted it out yet. Apu is a playable character in The Simpsons: Hit & Run video game. Hank Azaria said in an interview at TCA that he’s decided to no longer voice the character Apu on The Simpsons, following criticism about the role in a documentary ‘The Problem With Apu.’ Kondabolu said that he was saddened by the show's dismissive take on the controversy. Image via Fox From the ongoing TCA 2020, /Film reports that Azaria and The Simpsons … "We all feel like it's the right thing and good about it. Thus, he refers to himself as a "semi-legal alien".[3]. "It was also about how you can love something (like the Simpsons) & still be critical about aspects of it (Apu).". In the three decades that he has been a voice actor on “The Simpsons,” Hank Azaria has played dozens of Springfield’s absurd denizens on that long-running animated Fox … What can you do?" He came to understand the issues around the character of Apu compared to the other stereotypical characters on The Simpsons was the idea of permissible use, which led to his decision to quit voicing Apu. "[31] Kondabolu had a positive reaction to Azaria's comments. He is an Indian-American immigrant proprietor who runs the Kwik-E-Mart, a popular convenience store in Springfield, and is best known for his catchphrase, "Thank you, come again." ‘The Simpsons’ actor Hank Azaria says he will no longer voice the character Apu amid ongoing controversy surrounding the alleged racial stereotyping of the character. All we've agreed on is I won't do the voice anymore.". It's a little, uh, stereotype,' and they were like, 'Eh, that's all right. Now, it looks like Azaria, the voice of Apu himself, with stop voicing the character altogether. Apu's surname, Nahasapeemapetilon, is an anagram of the name Pahasanee Mapetilon, which are the first and last names of a schoolmate of Simpsons writer Jeff Martin. Apu responded by purchasing a forged birth certificate from the Springfield Mafia that listed his parents as American citizens Herb and Judy Nahasapeemapetilon from Green Bay, Wisconsin, but when he realized he was forsaking his origins, he abandoned this plan and instead successfully managed to pass his citizenship test with help from Lisa and Homer Simpson. I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers' room, genuinely informing whichever direction this character takes. Representatives for Azaria did not immediately respond to CNN's requests for comment. Related Topics: featured, Masterclass, Nancy Cartwright, Simpsons. Apu’s character has been accused of reinforcing racial stereotypes. He's a … Kavi works for several American companies taking service calls using General American, cowboy, and Jamaican accents.[7]. He is an Indian-American immigrant proprietor who runs the Kwik-E-Mart, a popular convenience store in Springfield, and is best known for his catchphrase, "Thank you, come again. Despite this, 7-Eleven reported that many of its Indian employees reacted positively to the idea, but noted that it was "not a 100 percent endorsement". Zack Sharf Feb 25, … He was voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". There are many ways to keep Apu … She then looks at a picture of Apu with "Don't have a cow, man" written on it, and the two characters say that the issue will be dealt with later, if at all. [33][34] Dana Walden, the CEO of 20th Century Fox Television, said in an August 2018 interview in regard to the Apu controversy that the network trusts the showrunners "to handle it in the way that's best for the show". He has starred in several of The Simpsons episodes, including episodes about his religion and episodes about the Kwik-E-Mart. Popular characters in The Simpsons like Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Dr. Hibbert, and Carl Carlson will no longer be voiced by white actors, producers announced Friday. "[1] He was voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". Apu Nahasapeemapetilon was a recurring character in the animated TV series The Simpsons. "[38], Hugo Rifkind bemoaned in The Times the prevalent attitude to create offense – nobody needs to be actually offended, the possibility that somebody might be offended is enough. Apu could remain on The Simpsons. Hank Azaria has been the voice behind Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the thickly accented convenience store owner on “The Simpsons,” for nearly 30 years. [37] Al Jean also tweeted about the episode "It's actually in favor of us saying people are too critical. Many have argued that this is not acceptable, and Hank Azaria stepped down from the … They don't take it so personally, nor do they feel oppressed or insulted by it. Don't get rid of Apu. "[42][43][44][45], Azaria announced on January 17, 2020, that he and the production team agreed to allow him to step away from voicing Apu, "unless there's some way to transition it or something". Hank Azaria says he is officially stepping down as the voice of Apu on “The Simpsons.” “I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something,” Azaria… We love Apu. During the episode "Bart-Mangled Banner", when the town changes its name to Libertyville to be patriotic after it is claimed Springfield hates America, Apu temporarily changes his children's names to Lincoln, Freedom, Condoleezza, Coke, Pepsi, Manifest Destiny, Apple Pie, and Superman. A voice actor for hit animated series The Simpsons has said he will no longer voice the controversial character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian-born convenience store owner. [4] Apu is a vegan, as revealed in the season 7 episode "Lisa the Vegetarian". [22][26] In a 2007 interview, Azaria acknowledged some of this criticism when he recalled a conversation with the writers of the show during the inception of the character: "Right away they were like 'Can you do an Indian accent and how offensive can you make it?' This causes difficulties for the family but finally they decide to get on with their life. In January, Mr Azaria said he would no longer be performing the voice of Indian convenience store owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, a role he had played since the character was created in … However, he is won over when he meets Manjula at the wedding, and the two decide to give the marriage a try, with Manjula noting nonchalantly that they can always get a divorce. However, Azaria also acknowledged that he does not have control over the character's future and that the decision was made in unison with the Simpsons production crew. A spokesperson for The Simpsons declined to comment on Azaria's comments and Apu's future in the show. Hank Azaria, the voice actor responsible for iconic Simpsons voices like Moe, Chief Wiggum, and Comic Book Guy, will be dropping one famous character from his repertoire: Apu. [32], In an interview with USA Today, creator Matt Groening dismissed the criticism of the Apu character, saying, "I think it's a time in our culture where people love to pretend they're offended". Apu also has a cousin living in India named Kavi, also voiced by Azaria, who helped Homer while he was in India. Hank Azaria is opening up about his decision to retire voicing Apu on "The Simpsons.". Apu first appeared in the season one episode "The Telltale Head". It is a morphophonological blend of the name "Pahasadee Napetilon", the full name of a schoolmate of Simpsons writer Jeff Martin. Apu is voiced by white actor Hank Azaria who puts on a voice to make himself sound of Indian descent. In 1985, Apu was a member of the barbershop quartet The Be Sharps, along with Homer Simpson, Barney Gumble, and Principal Seymour Skinner. She wanted to get the voice perfect, so in between takes she listened to tapes of Azaria reading lines for Apu, to make sure her voice could realistically be Apu's mother's. He also points out that Apu is portrayed very positively – bar Lisa, he is smarter than everyone else, and that the show was much ruder about many other characters like Ned Flanders, Krusty and Groundskeeper Willie. "It was certainly not my intention," he said. Apu wasn’t the only Simpsons character voiced by a white actor, though, and in June, producers released a statement saying that “moving forward, The Simpsons will … "[47], While Azaria will no longer voice the character, Groening confirmed that Apu will remain on The Simpsons. [19][20][23], According to Hari Kondabolu, in a Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell web-exclusive segment, there is a negative reaction to Apu in the Indian-American community, as well as the greater Desi community. Actor Hank Azaria, who is white, has been the voice of Apu since 1990. [24] Pakistani-American comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani has also criticized the character and has related that early in his career,[25] he was asked to do the "Apu accent" as a stereotypical version of the "Indian accent". [16], Apu is one of the most prominent South Asian characters on primetime television in the United States. ", "Matt Groening confirms what's happening with Apu on The Simpsons", "Hank Azaria will reportedly no longer voice Apu on, "Why Hank Azaria Won't Play Apu on 'The Simpsons' Anymore", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Apu_Nahasapeemapetilon&oldid=996833752, Fictional immigrants to the United States, Fictional people with acquired American citizenship, Fictional vegan and vegetarian characters, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 20:57. Lisa then glanced at a framed photograph of Apu inscribed with the message, "Don't have a cow.". [39] On October 26, Adi Shankar stated in an interview with IndieWire that Apu would be leaving The Simpsons. Simpsons creator Matt Groening stated in August 2019 that Apu will remain on the show. Fox. [10] His surname is Nahasapeemapetilon, and it was first used in the episode "A Streetcar Named Marge". He also is a character players acquire fairly early on in the open-ended online game The Simpsons: Tapped Out. 7-Elevens Get Kwik-E Makeover", "Not all Indians think Apu is a racist stereotype", "TruTV Greenlights Feature-Length Documentary and Pilot From Hari Kondabolu", "Apu actor 'willing to step aside' from role", "If you kill off Apu, why not the whole cast? "The idea that anybody -- young or old, past or present -- was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad," said Azaria, who voices other characters on the show. In the episode, the young Lisa Simpson said, "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. He spends the days following the auction on a whirlwind of dates, which suddenly end when his mother announces his arranged marriage to a woman named Manjula, whom he had not seen since childhood. Upon the advice of the band manager Nigel, Apu took the stage name "Apu de Beaumarchais" (a reference to Pierre Beaumarchais, author of The Barber of Seville). [35] In October 2018, in the South Park episode "The Problem with a Poo", Mr. Hankey is expelled and sent to a land where "people don't care about bigotry and hate" – Springfield. [15] Andrea Martin provided the voice of Apu's mother in the episode, recording her part in New York. Sanjay has a daughter named Pahasatira, and a son named Jamshed, all of whom share the Nahasapeemapetilon surname. [29] Mike Reiss, The Simpsons' longtime writer and producer, acknowledged the problem, and pointed out that Apu had not had a line in the show for the last three years. In the episode "Eight Misbehavin'", Manjula receives too many doses of fertility drugs, leading to her giving birth to octuplets: Anoop, Uma, Nabendu, Poonam, Priya, Sandeep, Sashi, and Gheet. Hank Azaria will no longer voice the character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons, which puts an end to a run that started in 1990.This apparently now … Hank Azaria says he will no longer voice the Indian immigrant convenience store owner Apu on "The Simpsons." [2], Apu began working at the Kwik-E-Mart during graduate school to pay off his student loan, he stayed afterwards as he enjoyed his job and the friends he had made. ", 'Simpsons' voice actor has regret over Apu, See GOP senator's reaction to Trump's 'death wish' tweet, Watch McConnell block effort to quickly increase stimulus checks, Kamala Harris receives her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Congressman sues Pence for attempts to overturn election, Joe Biden considers cuts to Trump's nuclear program, Rain, snow, and ice in store for Central US, Bombing suspect's neighbor shares details of last conversation, 6 states facing record coronavirus hospitalizations, What we know about the Nashville bombing suspect, 'Irresponsibility': Biden hits Trump admin. Merchandising Apu has had four action figures in the World of Springfield line. CNN's Lisa Respers France contributed to this report. Lisa is bored by this revised version, and Marge asks what she should do; Lisa replies "It's hard to say. (CNN)After 30 years as a controversial Indian-American character on "The Simpsons," Hank Azaria has announced he will no longer voice the thickly accented Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. [18], Apu's image has been widely licensed, on items ranging from board games to auto air fresheners. After 30 years as a controversial Indian-American character on "The Simpsons," Hank Azaria has announced he will no longer voice the thickly accented Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Fox, which airs the show, says "The Simpsons" has no comment. Al Jean and Mike Reiss claim that while creating the character, the writers decided they would not make him ethnic, as they felt it would be too offensive and stereotypical and did not want to offend viewers,[8][9] but that the concept stayed because Hank Azaria's reading of the line "Hello, Mr. Homer" received a huge laugh from the writers. Geographic Region: North … "I wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character, and the idea that it's brought pain and suffering in any way, that it was used to marginalize people, it's upsetting. I was like, 'It's not tremendously accurate. Simpsons actor Hank Azaria has said he will no longer voice the character Apu, the subject of controversy over allegations of racism. What can you do?" basically. "We all agreed on it," he said. In the episode "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons", Apu enjoys a brief period as Springfield's leading ladies' man after being spontaneously drawn into a bachelor auction. [27] In 2017, Kondabolu released the hour-long documentary The Problem with Apu; in the film, Kondabolu interviews other actors and comics of South Asian heritage about the impact that the character of Apu has had on their lives and the perception of South Asians in American culture. And to add insult to injury, the voice behind Apu was a white actor. In July 2007, convenience store chain 7-Eleven converted 11 of its stores in the United States and one in Canada into Kwik-E-Marts to celebrate the release of The Simpsons Movie. "[26], In 2016, Kondabolu announced his intention to produce a documentary about "how this controversial caricature was created, burrowed its way into the hearts and minds of Americans and continues to exist – intact – twenty-six years later". Controversy around the character was in part prompted by comedian Hari Kondabolu’s 2017 documentary “The Problem With Apu… Apu on "The Simpsons." “Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters," the show confirmed to BuzzFeed News. [13], Apu's first name is an homage to the main character in The Apu Trilogy directed by Satyajit Ray. The episode ended with a title card, #cancelthesimpsons, similar to the promo for South Park which called for the cancellation of itself. The voice actor who plays Simpsons character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has announced he will be stepping down from the role following a long-running racism debate over the character. [5] He and his family are devout Hindus, and he particularly venerates Ganesha. A further strain came up when Apu was unfaithful to Manjula, causing him to briefly move out and even making him contemplate suicide. Hank Azaria will no longer voice Apu on "The Simpsons" and tells The New York Times, "What happened with this character is a window into an important issue." [21][22] During the 2007 7-Eleven promotion, some members of the Indian-American community voiced concerns that Apu is a caricature that plays on too many negative stereotypes. World of Springfield line ' room, genuinely informing whichever direction this character takes it, '' said... It so personally, nor do they feel oppressed or insulted by it Apu since 1990 in... 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