VOICE actor Hank Azaria is widely recognized for the various voices he portrays in the sitcom The Simpsons.
In 2020, Azaria announced he would quit voicing the character of shopkeeper Apu Nahasapeemapetilon in The Simpsons following an ongoing race row.
Who is Hank Azaria?
Henry Albert "Hank" Azaria, 57, was born April 25, 1964, and is an American actor, voice actor, comedian and producer.
He is best known for starring in The Simpsons since it started in 1989.
Hank is the voice of Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Carl Carlson and numerous other characters.
He is also known for films such as:
- The Birdcage (1996)
- Godzilla (1998)
- America's Sweethearts (2001)
- Along Came Polly (2004)
- Run Fatboy Run (2007)
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
- The Smurfs (2011)
What is the Simpsons 'race row' and why has he quit?
On April 25, 2018, Hank revealed he would "be willing" to stop playing the character Apu after the show became embroiled in a race row.
US documentary The Problem With Apu blasted The Simpsons for portraying Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu as an unfair and exaggerated stereotype.
Speaking at the time on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Hank said he's given the issue "a lot of thought" as his "eyes have opened".
He said: "I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writer's room… genuinely informing whatever way this character may [develop] including how it is voiced or not voiced.
"I'm perfectly willing and happy to step aside."
Azaria also stressed the importance of listening "to South Asian and Indian people when they talk about how they feel about the character".
The actor has now confirmed he no longer wants to voice Apu and is stepping away from the role after three decades.
He revealed to Slashfilm that the decision was made with the show's creators as they all felt it was the right thing to do.
He said: "We all made the decision together… We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it.
"All we know is I won't be doing the voice anymore unless there's some way to transition it or something."
Hank also provides the voices for other characters in The Simpsons including Moe Szyslak and Cheif Wiggum so won't be leaving the show – just no longer playing the role of Apu.
The voice actor apologized for playing the Indian character after a negative backlash.
What is Hank Azaria's net worth?
Azaria has reportedly amassed a $90million net worth, Celebrity Net Worth reports.
According to the outlet, Azaria earns a $300,000 salary per episode of The Simpsons.
Assuming an average season is 22 episodes, that translates into around $6.6 million per year.
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