In his recently released documentary The Problem With Apu, comedian Hari Kondabolu attempts to sit down with The Simpsons star Hank Azaria and have a conversation about one of the actor’s most well-known characters, Springfield’s Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Azaria declined the chance to meet and have a conversation about the themes Kondabolu explores in his documentary (South Asian representation, stereotyping, racism, that accent), but in a recent TMZ interview, the Brockmire actor acknowledged the doc and expressed sadness that his character has insulted the show’s Indian and Indian-American fans.
“I think the documentary made some really interesting points and gave us a lot to think about and we really are thinking about it,” Azaria says. “Definitely anybody that was hurt or offended by it, or by any character or vocal performance, it’s really upsetting that it was offensive or hurtful to anybody.” Whether his need for further reflection implies any possible changes will be made to the character or to the show in general, however, remains to be seen. “I think it’s an important conversation worth having,” concludes Azaria. “We’re still thinking about it. It’s a lot to digest.”