The controversy surrounding The Simpsons' popular character has grown to become a national conversation over the past couple of years, following the release of Hari Kondabolu's eye-opening documentary, The Problem With Apu. In addition to the many fans that have asked for changes regarding the character, voice actor Hank Azaria said on national television that he'd be totally willing to step away from the role if it's what was best for the show and its fans.
There has been little word on the Apu front since Azaria's words and, in that time, it doesn't sound like the actor has had a chance to talk about it with Simpsons creator Matt Groening.
Entertainment journalist Fred Topel took to Twitter after speaking to Groening about the situation, revealing that conversations with Azaria regarding Apu's future have yet to take place.
"Asked Matt Groening if Hank Azaria decides not to do the voice of Apu anymore, would The Simpsons have to recast or retire the character? Groening said that they hadn't talked about it but 'Everybody gets a say on our show.' Then repeated he's proud of everything they do on the show."
Asked #MattGroening if Hank Azaria decides not to do the voice of Apu anymore, would #TheSimpsons have to recast or retire the character? Groening said they hadn't talked about it but "Everybody gets a say on our show." Then repeated he's proud of everything they do on the show.— Fred Topel (@FredTopel) July 29, 2018
While it doesn't look as though the two have spoken much (which seems odd given Azaria's comments on TV), Groening sounds completely supportive of whatever ideas Azaria might have about the character going forward. Noting that "everybody gets a say" really speaks to the collaborative culture that Groening has built.
The Simpsons is heading into its 30th season this fall on FOX, and there has been no announcement as to what the series will do with Apu going forward. It seems like the possibility of recasting the character, or retiring him altogether, are both still out in the open. It will be interesting to see how the situation plays out going forward, and whether or not anything changes.
What do you think should happen with the Apu controversy? Should Azaria be recast? Let us know your thoughts and ideas by dropping a line in the comments below.
The Simpsons Season 30 will premiere this fall on FOX.