‘Cancel culture is a disease’: Actor Hank Azaria draws backlash after apology for voicing Simpsons’ Indian shopkeeper Apu
White US voice actor Hank Azaria has drawn the ire of Simpsons fans who accuse him of being ‘woke’ and participating in cancel culture after he apologized for his portrayal of the show’s Indian shopkeeper Apu.
“I really do apologize,” Azaria said as he appeared on the Armchair Expert podcast and discussed his portrayal of ‘Kwik-E-Mart’ owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who the actor announced earlier he would no longer voice.Also on rt.com Matt Groening shouldn’t defend Simpsons’ Apu… such blatant racial stereotyping has fuelled anti-Asian hate
Azaria told the podcast’s Indian-American host Monica Padman that he feels he needs to “go to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologize” for aiding “structural racism.”
He said he has “had a date with destiny with this thing for like 31 years,” after he first did Apu’s stereotypical Indian accent for ‘The Simpsons’.
But fans of the cartoon – created by Matt Groening – have warned Azaria that his apology amounts to political correctness that will “destroy comedy,” and accused the actor of participating in cancel culture.
I’m Indian & I laughed along. This political correctness will destroy comedy. Does no one have a sense of humour anymore? This cancel culture is a disease.— Nick (@nekzaad) April 13, 2021
One Twitter user called Azaria a “woke moron” for his comments, as they pointed out he voices a diverse range of other well-loved Simpsons characters, including Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, and Sea Captain.
When is he going to apologize to white sea captains and Italian chefs and slack-jawed rednecks and comic shop owners and fat police officers and depressed bar owners?These woke morons like Hank Azaria are so tiresome.Critical Race Theory is poison.#LeftismIsAMentalDisorderhttps://t.co/JAeJavpWWW— Dave (@heyyoudvd) April 12, 2021
German BBC World Service journalist Oliver Berlau argued that Apu’s stereotypical accent shouldn’t matter, as he is not offended by the show’s trope-heavy German character Üter Zörker, who is chubby, eats chocolate, and sports lederhosen.
ALL Simpsons characters are stereotypes. That's how the show works.As a German, I'd feel very silly were I to express outrage over Üter Zörker.No Scotsman I know has ever found Groundskeeper Willie offensive.— Oliver Berlau (@OliverBerlau) April 13, 2021
Indian fans, including tech policy expert Pranesh Prakash, were also among those to say that the Apu character “doesn’t require any apology,” and that Azaria should not say sorry to “every Indian.”
Not all comments were critical of the actor however, with US stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu, who has Indian heritage, describing him as a “kind and thoughtful person.”
Kondabolu wrote and starred in the 2017 documentary ‘The Problem with Apu’, which was critical of the character and resulted in some of the initial backlash against Azaria.Also on rt.com Cancel culture strikes again and kills Apu from ‘The Simpsons’ – where does this nonsense end?
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