Loading articles...

Hank Azaria willing to stop voicing Apu on 'The Simpsons'

Last Updated Apr 25, 2018 at 1:40 pm EDT

In this April 24, 2018 photo released by CBS, actor Hank Azaria, left appears with host Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," in New York. Azaria is ready to stop voicing Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu on "The Simpsons" in the wake of criticism that it is a stereotype. Azaria on Tuesday's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" says he hopes the animated show makes a change and he's willing to step aside if necessary. (Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via AP)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Hank Azaria is ready to stop voicing Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu on “The Simpsons” in the wake of criticism that it’s a stereotype.

Azaria said on Tuesday’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that he hopes the Fox animated show makes a change, and he’s willing to step aside if necessary.

Azaria said: “I’m perfectly willing and happy to step aside or help transition it into something new. I really hope that’s what ‘The Simpsons’ does.”

He added: “It just feels like the right thing to do.”

People of South Asian heritage have criticized the heavily accented Apu for reinforcing stereotypes they say lead to bullying and self-loathing. Azaria said it makes him sad if anyone was bullied because of Apu. He said he “wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character.”