The ‘Simpsons’ to stop using white actors to vote for non-white characters

“Moving forward, the Simpsons will no longer have white actors who aren’t afraid of white characters,” Fox spokesman Les Eisner said Friday.

Over the three decades since the animated sitcom began, white actors have played a number of non-white characters, including Harry Shearer as Dr. Julius Hibbert and Hank Azaria as Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

In January, Azaria announced she would stop voting for Apu after 30 years of playing a heavily accentuated Indo-American character. Azaria is not South Asian.

“All we know is that I won’t do the voice anymore unless there’s some way to get over it or something,” Azaria said, according to / Film, an industry news blog that reportedly asked the actor about it after the panel discussion.

The decision to remove Azaria due to the expression of Apu was mutual, the actor said, reports / Film. “We all agreed on that,” he said. “We all feel like it’s the right thing to do and the good thing about it.”

Comedian Harry Kondabolu – whose 2017 documentary, “The Apu Problem,” sparked an argument over the character in the mainstream – reacted on Twitter saying he hoped the “Simpsons” kept Apu and let “very talented writing staff do something interesting with him”.

“My documentary‘ The Problem with Apu ’was not made to get rid of an old cartoon character, but to discuss race, representation and my community (which I love very much),” Kondabolu wrote. “It was also about how you can love something (like Simpson) and still be critical of aspects of it (Apu).”

In his paper, Kondabolu interviewed celebrities of South Asian descent, including Aziz Ansari and Kal Penn, to discuss how characterizations like Apu could be understood as racism.

The show reacted in an episode from April 2018 to a backlash with Apu, who runs the Kwik-E-Mart store in the longest-running screenplay series for the most popular screenplays on TV.

In the episode, young Lisa Simpson said, “Something that started a decade ago and was applauded and offensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” Lisa then looked at a framed photo of Apu with the caption, “Don’t have a cow.”

Hank Azaria willing to step & # 39; from playing Apua
Azaria told the host of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” later that month that she would gladly step down from Apua and disagree with the way the show has received criticism.

“The idea that anyone – young or old, past or present – has been bullied or teased based on the character of Apua, just makes me sad,” said Azaria, who expresses the other characters on the show.

“It certainly wasn’t my intention,” he said. “I wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character, and the thought that it brought pain and suffering in any way, that it was used to marginalize people, is disturbing.”

CNN’s Frank Pallotta, Brian Lowry and Leah Asmelash contributed to this article.

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