Since comic Hari Kondabolu interrogated the stereotypical characterization of The Simpsons’ Apu Nahasapeemapetilon in a 2017 documentary, fans of the show have debated whether it’s worth it to keep the Kwik-E-Mart owner around. The show itself even made an episode that directly addressed the controversy, though it wasn’t received well by critics. While Hank Azaria, who voices the South Asian character, has been amenable to discussions around recasting Apu, the creators of the show have been less so. But, last we heard, there were rumors that producers were planning to axe the character entirely to “avoid the controversy.”
Whether that happens is still unclear, but Azaria himself confirmed to /Film at a TCA panel for IFC’s Brockmire that he will no longer be voicing Apu. “All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s some way to transition it or something,” Azaria said.
He continued, “What they’re going to do with the character is their call. It’s up to them and they haven’t sorted it out yet. All we’ve agreed on is I won’t do the voice anymore.” He added that it was a mutual decision. “We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it.”
Fox Television tells us there is “no comment” from the show.