Hank Azaria, who voices Apu Nahasapeemapetilon in The Simpsons, recently sat down with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show to discuss the ongoing controversy surrounding the Southeast Asian character.
Last fall, the fictional character became the subject of Hari Kondabolu’s The Problem with Apu documentary, which explored the lack of positive Southeast Asian characters or figures in U.S. entertainment. Moreover, the piece also claimed that Apu’s character was inherently offensive.
While Azaria initially responded that “the documentary made some really interesting points,” a recent episode of The Simpsons which addressed the criticisms was received poorly by fans and critics. Speaking on this, Azaria pointed out to Colbert that he would like the animated series to listen to Southeast Asian voices, specifically in the writers’ room.
“My eyes have been opened and I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country when they talk what they feel and how they think about this character and what their American experience of it has been,” he remarked.
In closing, Azaria also noted that he would be willing to “step aside” in order to help “transition the character into something new.”
For more, check out the full clip below.
In other news, Netflix is making an animated ‘Fast and Furious‘ television series.