Hank Azaria has actually been willing to step down from voicing Apu for over a year now (as said during a Colbert appearance), but his exit from the character was officially announced today. While this decision was collectively made by Azaria and the heads of The Simpsons, the future of the character has yet to be known.
Much of the controversy behind Azaria voicing Apu came whenHari Kondabolu released his groundbreaking documentary The Problem with Apu in 2017, which sought to bring to light a conversation about race and representation in media.
It’s interesting to think of The Simpsons, a series that has been very prescient about so many things over decades of being on the air, is now taking a step to address their own problematic element of their show. What lies ahead will be even more intriguing and perhaps, the legendary show is set on a fascinating new direction.