We all love watching The Simpsons. Homer and his family are quirky, realistic and crack us up with their humour. But, the long-running American TV show that enters its landmark 29th season has run into a bit of a controversy of late.
The response from the makers was earlier reported, and now actor Hank Azaria, the voice behind Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, has addressed the controversy on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The issue came to light after stand-up comic Hari Kondabolu raised the subject in the documentary The Problem With Apu.
The Late Show gave Azaria a chance to open up about the topic. “The idea that anyone young or old, past or present, is being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad,” he said. “It certainly was not my intention. I wanted to bring joy and laughter to people” the Variety quoted him as saying.
Earlier, The Simpsons acknowledged the criticism with the episode No Good Read Goes Unpunished in which Marge Simpson tries to read a less offensive book to her daughter Lisa. Lisa addresses the camera, saying, “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”
Responding to this particular episode, Azaria said “I had nothing to do with the writing or the voicing in that episode. I think if anyone came away from that segment thinking they need to lighten up…that’s definitely not the message that I want to send.”
Azaria indicated he’s in two minds about continuing with the character, and was open to taking on another role. “I’ve given this a lot of thought, and, as I say, my eyes have been opened.”
Watch the conversation between Hank Azaria and Stephen Colbert: