The Simpsons actor Hank Azaria, who provides the voice for the Apu Nahasapeemapetilon character, has said that he is prepared to stand aside so a different actor voice the Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner. Azaria also called for more inclusion and diversity in the writers room during an appearance on The Late Show on Tuesday.
Azaria was pressed on the issue by host Stephen Colbert following criticism the show received in April. Using a storyline in that week's episode, The Simpsons writers essentially suggested there was little they could do to respond to those who feel that the character of Apu is a negative stereotype and that a white actor should not provide the voice.
“I think the most important thing is to listen to Indian people and their experience with it,” Azaria said. “Listening to voices means inclusion in the writers room. I really want to see Indian, south Asian writers in the writers room, genuinely informing whichever direction this character takes. I’m perfectly willing to step aside. It just feels like the right thing to do to me.”
Check out the clip above.