Things got a little tense in Springfield earlier this year when comedian Hari Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem with Apu levied a series of scathing critiques of the long-standing eponymous character from The Simpsons. Hank Azaria, who voices Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, declined at the time to participate in Kondabolu’s project, but now Azaria says that he and the rest of the crew on The Simpsons are considering its message.
In a brief interview with TMZ, Azaria said, “I think the documentary made some really interesting points and gave us a lot to think about and we really are thinking about it. 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.”
Kondabolu’s film addressed a variety of issues, from Apu’s stereotypical portrayal in general to Azaria’s performance in particular, which the comedian described as “a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father.”
Azaria’s comments made clear that The Simpsons‘ creators are taking the criticisms to heart, but it remains to be seen whether Apu will transform (or vanish from the show) as a result. The actor’s final words on the subject: “I think it’s an important conversation worth having. We’re still thinking about it. It’s a lot to digest.”