Hank Azaria wants to apologize for this portrayal of an Indian character on “The Simpsons.”
For about three decades, Azaria was the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian immigrant who runs a convenience store on the Fox long-running animated comedy.
Last year he announced he would no longer portray the character amid criticism that Apu’s voice reinforced racial stereotypes.
This week, speaking with actor and podcast host Dax Shepard in the latest episode of “Armchair Expert,” Azaria opened up about his journey to understanding why his portrayal was seen as offensive.
“I needed to look at my part. I went and learned,” he told Shepard and co-host Monica Padman.
“I read, and I talked to people. I talked to a lot of Indian people. I talked to a lot of people who knew a lot about racism. I took seminars.”
Saying that he was unaware about how much “advantage” he’d received as a white kid from Queens,” Azaria said that he didn’t think about “this stuff because I never had to.”