Millennium Post (Kolkata)
Voicing Apu makes Hank feel sorry
Hank’s role in ‘The Simpsons’ endorsed racial stereotypes
MUMBAI: Bollywood actors Akshaye Khanna and Raveena Tandon will play the role of rivals in Vijay Gutte’s upcoming drama series ‘Legacy’.
Both were previously a part of the ensemble in JP Dutta’s 2003 war drama ‘LOC: Kargil’.
The ‘Ittefaq’ star said that he was thrilled to come on board the series as it aims to provide quality entertainment to the audience.
“It is refreshing to work on the content that challenges our boundaries as an industry as a whole. Given the massive scale of the show, we are cognizant of the immense responsibility to deliver our best to create a content piece the audience looks forward to. I’m glad ‘Legacy’ is going to be my first web series,” Khanna said.
According to the makers, the show will be mounted on a big scale with the team intending to shoot it across multiple foreign locations.
Tandon said that the series presents an ‘interesting tale of power struggle’ with an engaging drama at the backdrop. “It is a fine work of content articulated interestingly to resonate with a global audience. I am excited to be associated with the show and looking forward to the beginning of this journey,” she shared.
The director called ‘Legacy’ an inspirational project which would reflect the ‘dark realities of the professional world’.
“I am thrilled to be reuniting with Akshaye for this and exhilarated to have Raveena Tandon on board with us. This talent powerhouse is set for an epic rivalry,” he added.
Hank Azaria said that his character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on the popular sitcom ‘The Simpsons’ is ‘practically a slur’ and he feels apologetic for endorsing racial stereotypes through the role.
The long-running animated sitcom had Azaria lending voice to the Indian character, which has drawn criticism over the last few years owing to its racially stereotypical behaviour, combined with the fact that it was voiced by a Caucasian actor, according to ‘The Hollywood Reporter’.
The American actor, who quit the show in 2020 saying he did not feel right playing the part, talked about it on a recent podcast with actor Dax Shepard the lessons he learned from starring on the show.
Hank stated that he took several seminars and even spoke to Indians to understand why the character was problematic, before deciding to quit ‘The Simpsons’. During one such interaction with a 17-year-old Indian, Azaria said that though the teenager had not ever watched the show, he understood what Apu stood for.
The actor revealed that the boy, ‘with tears in his eyes’ asked him to tell Hollywood writers that what they do has consequences on people’s lives. Azaria told him he would deliver the message. He further said that it was important for him to apologise to Indians for reinforcing problematic tropes through his art.
“I do apologise. It is important. I apologise for my part in creating and participating in that. Part of me feels like I need to go to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologise. And sometimes I do,” he confessed. Azaria also said that he was a big champion of people voicing characters of colour in writers’ rooms.
Both were previously a part of the ensemble in JP Dutta’s 2003 war drama ‘LOC: Kargil’