June 7, 2023

In a brand new Code Swap episode on NPR, comedians Hari Kondabolu and Hank Azaria had their first public chat since Hari’s documentary, The Downside with Apu, got here out in 2017. The movie took a vital have a look at how Hollywood represents South Asians and known as out Hank, a white actor, for voicing the Indian character, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, in The Simpsons. Throughout their candid dialog, Hank made amends with Hari, acknowledging the impression of the documentary and addressing the problems it raised. (You may as well discover him hilariously serving to to advertise Hari’s new YouTube standup comedy particular, “Trip Child.”)

This is a snippet:

Hank: I am so grateful for you dragging and pushing me into this dialog.

Hari: It means loads to listen to you say that. I do know you’ve got instructed me privately the impression that I’ve made, however to listen to that publicly is a very huge deal to me as a result of one of many issues that pissed off me after the movie got here out is that I used to be getting demise threats…Initially it bothered me that you just did not point out me as a result of I needed to take care of all this crap to get it there…There’s a historical past of white people speaking about what they’ve realized and sharing the data with out giving credit score to the folks of colour that truly received them there. Like, you place within the work and then you definately get by no means get credit score for the work. And on the finish of the day, I am speaking about this far more than I wished to.

And I do know it is a completely different expertise for each of us, as a result of for you it is opened up all these new concepts and you have grown in unimaginable methods and I can see your pleasure in regards to the work you are doing now. To me, this was previous hat after I made the documentary. So it is the double whammy of being caught right here with out additionally getting props. So so that you can say it now does imply loads.

Hank: I apologize for not saying it earlier. It put me in a dilemma as a result of it is nonetheless embarrassing to me to level on the doc, though no matter I really feel personally about it’s a drop within the ocean in comparison with what your neighborhood has needed to take care of.

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