LOS ANGELES — For 28 years, Springfield has left the Kwik-E-Mart with one courteous message: a “Thank you, come again,” from the convenience store’s owner, Apu.
But through the years, while many laughed at his dramatic accent and stereotypical characteristics, others didn’t see the comedy or the courtesy of the character.
“I should be completely happy, but there’s still one man who haunts me: Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.”
That’s a line from comedian Hari Kondabolu in his 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu. The character is no joke to the South Asian community.
“A white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father,” is how Kondabolu describes him.
And now, that white guy, voice actor Hank Azaria, spoke out to TMZ.
“Anybody that was hurt or offended by any character or vocal performance…it’s really upsetting if that was hurtful or offensive to anybody,” he told TMZ outside LAX.
But the question is, is Apu on his way out of Springfield?
“It’s gave us a lot to think about, and we are thinking about it,” Azaria said.
Because who really needs the Kwik-E-Mart?
Well, if the song is correct, it’s Apu.