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Hank Azaria’s Response to Claims That Apu from ‘The Simpsons” is a Broad, Overdone Stereotype

Hey, did you happen to see that movie Hari Kondabolu made for TruTV about being offended by Apu on The Simpsons? Yeah, neither did I, because I saw Hari Kondabolu on @Midnight and he was the only regular panelist who managed to somehow be more insipid and less funny than Jen Kirkman.

I’m definitely not alone in not watching this documentary, The Problem With Apu, as the program drew a 0.11 rating, which is fine for being on TruTV, but it did get beat by reruns of Flea Market Flip and an 8 a.m. broadcast of Batman vs Superman on HBO. This is despite not being able to use any sort of media without being bombarded by ads for it for weeks. I can only assume that the roughly 250,000 people who did tune in had never heard of Kondabolu before.

The documentary may have made some good points, I don’t know, but from the promotional materials and the interview I heard on NPR the premise was “I find Apu’s accent offensive.” Which, I mean, fair play, it is a little thick. The reviews I’ve read said it was mainly Kondabolu whining about how Hank Azaria wouldn’t be in the movie about how racist Hank Azaria is.

TMZ caught up with Hank Azaria in an airport, and he made a statement about Apu. He said, essentially, that the movie made some good points and that The Simpsons crew is having discussions about how to handle it.

This has, of course, caused speculation that the Apu will be killed off or written out of the show somehow. Guess who doesn’t want to be held accountable for a beloved character being forced off of the air?

Which seems like a pretty big turnaround from his position like, 18 hours earlier.

Considering that in all of his media appearances all he’s talked about is Azaria’s voice work, it’s interesting that his solution now is just to make him rich and age his kids up some more.

It’s very unlikely that Apu is actually killed off, though. For starters, he isn’t married to Ned Flanders, which is basically a prerequisite for being killed off on The Simpsons. The reaction on social media of Apu being written out has been overwhelmingly negative, despite the positive press the film has gotten.

That’s just a small, random sample of some of the most recent tweets about this. Like, you know how negative social media is normally? Tell those people you’re going to mess with a show they’ve grown up watching because of a movie that premiered to 1/10th the audience of Chris Hardwick talking about an episode of a TV show they had just finished watching.

Also, can we stop calling it a movie? It’s 45 minutes long and aired on TruTV. It’s basically an episode of I Love The 80’s if everyone on it hated Apu from The Simpsons.

  • Why is my name in the headline of this?

    • Eric Karnes

      That’s my fault, Mr. Shearer, I’m very sorry and my editor is going to correct it as soon as possible. It was just a typo when I was writing the headline that no one noticed. When I think of Simpsons voice actors, I just think of you first, I guess.

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