“The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased or worse based on the character of Apu on The Simpsons, or the voice or any other tropes of the character is distressing, especially in post-9/11 America,”
Azaria told reporters at the Television Critics Association in Pasadena during a panel for his IFC comedy Brockmire. “The idea that anybody was marginalized based on it or had a hard time was very upsetting to me personally and professionally. It’s a character I’ve done for 29 years now, and I’ve done it with a lot of love, and joy, and pride. That certainly wasn’t the intent. The intent was to make people laugh and bring joy. For it to cause suffering or pain in any way, it’s disturbing, actually.”
What is the future of the character, who stands one of the most recognizable tertiary characters on the long-running animated Fox comedy? Azaria, who is not of South Asian descent, stresses that the decision is not just up to him.