This might be a top ten all-time Simpsons moment:
Harry Shearer voiced Ned Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy, and Hank Azaria was Apu.
But most funny things must come to an end.
HANK AZARIA INVITED TO MEET WITH HINDU ORG … Over Lingering Apu Guilt
4/14/2021 12:50 AM PT
Hank Azaria feels awful about his years-long portrayal of Apu — but there’s still a way he can get right with the Indian community which he, and others, feel has been harmed by the character.
Shereen Bhalla — a rep for the Hindu American Foundation — tells TMZ … Hank doesn’t have to torment himself for his work on “The Simpsons,” or at least he doesn’t have to do it alone. Bhalla says she and the staff at HAF would love to have a sit-down with him.
She tells us coming to the table with them would help Hank do a lot of the learning he seems very open to at this point. Shereen says they can expose him to Indian people’s lived experiences, and have a dialogue about his lingering guilt.
It’s clear from Hank’s comments on Dax Shephard’s podcast that he does, indeed, have a lot of remorse about Apu … even going so far as to say he feels the need apologize to every Indian person.
If Hank’s concerned about “cancel culture” … HAF does not want to see that happen to the veteran actor. We’re told the group doesn’t feel Hank needs to be excommunicated, and believes he’s genuinely sorry and willing to educate himself … which HAF would love to help him do.
This is reminiscent of when Marlon Brando went on the Larry King show c. 1994 and said that Jewish movie executives had done a fine job back around 1960 in promoting the careers of black actors like Sidney Poitier and they now should do the same for Mexican actors and the like. Jewish organizations immediately went nuts over Brando’s implication that the stereotype (what we now call a trope) that many movie executives are Jewish is true. After all, what does Marlon Brando know about the movie industry?
Brando had to do an apology tour promoting the Jewish organizations:
A friend writes:
There must be something deeply satisfying to the woke about watching the formerly confident and irreverent masters of comedy grovel and apologize for being so cheeky.
I think, even if it’s just on a subconscious level, that they view it as one of their top victories to make the irreverent revere.
It would be like if Baptist pastors could’ve made John Lennon cry and apologize for rock n roll and get him to call it the devil’s music.
Imagine a Christian organization getting Simpsons voice actor Harry Shearer, a Jew, to apologize for satirizing Christian piety in the figures of Ned Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy.
Surely that did some damage?
Has there not been some historical hostility between those two groups?
There’s the campaign: Flanders and Rev. Lovejoy should be voiced by a Christian!
Personally, I think Hank Azaria is hilarious and should keep doing what he does best.
Not wishing to be left behind by Hank Azaria, I would like to apologise on behalf on Monty Python for all the many sketches we did making fun of white English people
We're sorry for any distress we may have caused
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) April 13, 2021
But, Cleese is not apologizing for making fun of Spaniards and Germans: