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Hank Azaria Willing to Stop Voicing Apu on ‘The Simpsons’ After South Asian Stereotypes Controversy

Executive producer/actor Hank Azaria of 'Brockmire ' speaks onstage during the IFC portion of the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 12, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) — Hank Azaria is ready to stop voicing Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu on “The Simpsons” in the wake of criticism that it’s a stereotype.

Azaria said on Tuesday’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that he hopes the Fox animated show makes a change, and he’s willing to step aside if necessary.

Azaria said: “I’m perfectly willing and happy to step aside or help transition it into something new. I really hope that’s what ‘The Simpsons’ does.”

He added: “It just feels like the right thing to do.”

People of South Asian heritage have criticized the heavily accented Apu for reinforcing stereotypes they say lead to bullying and self-loathing. Azaria said it makes him sad if anyone was bullied because of Apu. He said he “wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character.”

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