Hank Azaria seems more willing to address the racial issues on “The Simpsons” than the show’s writers.
The comedian dropped by “The Late Show” on Tuesday to promote the return of his IFC comedy, “Brockmire,” but the conversation quickly veered to the long-running Fox sitcom and the controversy around Azaria’s character, the stereotypically Indian clerk Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.
In the documentary “The Problem With Apu,” Hari Kondabolu criticized the cartoon’s representation of the Kwik-E-Mart owner, particularly his over-the-top accent and mannerisms.
The “Simpsons” showrunners were silent about the controversy for almost five months until a controversial episode earlier in the month in which Lisa makes out-of-character comments pointing at the depiction of Apu, saying how “something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect.”
Azaria, who had previously only touched on the complaints and apologized to anyone who was “hurt and offended,” said that “the idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad.”
“I had nothing to do with the writing or the voicing [in the episode that responded to “The Problem with Apu”]. I think if anyone came away from that segment thinking they need to lighten up … that’s definitely not the message that I want to send,” he told Stephen Colbert.
“I think the most important thing is to listen to Indian people and their experience with it. I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers room … including how [Apu] is voiced or not voiced. I’m perfectly willing to step aside. It just feels like the right thing to do to me.”
Kondabolu reached out to Azaria about appearing in the documentary, but the voice-actor turned down the request due to concerns about editing. Instead, Azaria offered to tape an interview between he and Kondabolu on a podcast like “Fresh Air with Teri Gross” or “WTF with Marc Maron,” which Kondabolu agreed to,but the conversation never came to fruition.
Kanye West conjures up Twitter storm with more Trump support
Kanye West sees President Donald Trump as family.
The rapper championed Trump in a tweet Wednesday, calling the President his “brother” and expressing his “love” for him.
“You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him,” West tweeted. “We are both dragon energy. He is my brother.
“I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does,” he continued. “That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”
The tweet from West — who memorably met with Trump several weeks after the 2016 election — comes two days after Hot 97 host Ebro Darden said on his radio show that the rapper told him in a recent phone conversation that he loves Trump.
West also sparked controversy over the weekend when he tweeted praise for Candace Owens, a conservative commentator who has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I love the way Candace Owens thinks,” he wrote, drawing the ire of some followers.
West’s wife Kim Kardashian, meanwhile, urged the “Famous” rapper to clarify his tweet about Trump.
“My wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone,” West tweeted. “I don’t agree with everything Trump does. I don’t agree 100 percent with anyone but myself.”
Actor Channing Tatum is 38 … Singer T-Boz of TLC is 48 … Actor Jet Li is 55 … Actress-comedian Carol Burnett is 85. — Wire report
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