Shepard praised Azaria’s reaction to all of this, which led to him being thanked by comedian Hari Kondabolu. Kondabolu’s documentary “The Problem with Apu” debuted in 2017 and the character was seen as a negative, conservative representation of South Asians.
An Indian American character with a thick accent, Nahasapempetilon, operates a Quick-A-Mart convenience store in the fictional town of Springfield.
“It’s not about congratulating me for the feedback because I’m a big part in starting the problem,” Azaria said on the podcast. “So there is nothing except maybe an amendment over time that I am attempting to make.”
Azaria said that while speaking at his son’s school, he interacted with Indian students there “because I wanted to take their input.”
A 17-year-old man who has never seen “The Simpsons” still knows about the character Apu, whom Azaria said.
“It’s practically a rebuke at this point,” he said. “He all knows how his people are thought of and how many people are represented in this country.”
Azaria said that the youth became emotional and asked the actor to share the message that such characters have influence.
“I really apologize. This is important,” Azaria said. “I apologize for creating and participating in that part. It seems to me that I need to go to every Indian person in this country and apologize in person. And sometimes I do Will do.”
Azaria still voices the characters, including Moe Szyslak on “The Simpsons”, but is now a major proponent for casting cast of color for voice characters of color.