Back in 2017, comic Hari Kondabolu made a particularly considerate and reasoned documentary titled The Problem With Apu, declaring that the Indian-American character Apu (voiced by American actor Hank Azaria, who’s of Sephardic Jewish descent) is a dangerous racial stereotype that The Simpsons has been fortunately perpetuating for literal many years. In truth, Kondabolu goes as far as to name Apu a minstrel character, and it’s exhausting to disagree with him. It looks as if the present has lastly determined to hear, and any more will not have white actors voice non-white characters.
As reported by Variety, the choice was made shortly after actor Mike Henry introduced he would not be voicing Cleveland Brown on the animated sitcom Family Guy. Earlier this week, Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate determined to step away from their respective roles on Central Park and Big Mouth as mixed-race characters, which little doubt performed an element in The Simpsons lastly deciding to finish the controversial observe of utilizing white actors to painting POC characters. (Azaria himself introduced he would not voice Apu again in January.)
Obviously that is the correct transfer for these reveals to make, particularly for one as massively fashionable and influential as The Simpsons. However, it’s fairly actually the naked minimal. Azaria and Henry voiced their respective characters for many years, with Henry even voicing the Black character Cleveland on the Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show. Perhaps these showrunners ought to go a step additional and look at why they normalized this observe for thus lengthy. The Simpsons was notably shitty in regards to the Apu controversy within the 2018 episode “No Good Read Goes Unpunished”, through which Marge and Lisa make an oblique reference to the character and say, “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” That frustratingly smug response aired simply two years in the past, so whereas it’s good they’re lastly addressing the issue like adults, it’s exhausting to reward them after giving an Indian character a racist-as-hell voice for 30 rattling years. For extra on The Simpsons, learn how to watch the older episodes of their authentic facet ratio on Disney+.