It’s the end of an era in Springfield.
Since the inception of The Simpsons in 1989, Hank Azaria has provided the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the owner of the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store.
The Indian character has often been a source of controversy and come under criticism for perpetuating stereotypes about the South Asian community. Azaria, who is white, stated in 2018 that he had been enlightened and was even willing to step down as the character’s voice.
That time has now come.
After 30 years in the role, the Brockmire actor has confirmed that Apu will no longer be in his repertoire.
“I won’t be doing the voice anymore, that’s all we know. Unless there’s some way to transition it or something,” he said at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. “What they’re going to do with the character is their call, it’s up to them, they haven’t sorted that out yet. All we agreed on is that I won’t do the voice anymore. We all had made the decision together, we all feel it was the right thing and good about it.”
Azaria will continue to provide the voice for Moe Szyslak, Carl, Lou, and several other characters.