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WIRE Buzz: The Simpsons' Hank Azaria talks stepping down from Apu. Plus, Indiana Jones 5, more

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Feb 25, 2020, 5:22 PM EST

After facing criticism over his character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria went against the grain with the show’s creative team and offered to listen to those who called the portrayal racist. He then stepped down from voicing the character earlier this year. Now, he’s explaining why.

One of the biggest factors was the Hari Kondabolu-penned documentary The Problem With Apu, which highlights the depiction of the animated East Indian convenience-store owner that has its white voice actor traffic in racist stereotypes. Azaria saw the documentary, assessed the situation, and turned in his resignation from the character. "Once I realized that that was the way this character was thought of, I just didn’t want to participate in it anymore. It just didn’t feel right," Azaria told The New York Times.

The actor explained that he’d based the character on Peter Sellers' role in The Party, another brownface performance. “That represents a real blind spot I had. There I am, joyfully basing a character on what was already considered quite upsetting," Azaria said.

While plans for the future of Apu have yet to be announced, Azaria explained that the writing staff of the legendarily longevous cartoon took his decision in stride. They were "very sympathetic and supportive” about his exit — though whether they will take the criticism to heart and rewrite the character after recasting him, or write him off the show completely, is yet to be determined.


Next, Harrison Ford had a few things to say about the upcoming fifth entry into the Indiana Jones franchise. On the press tour for his film The Call of the Wild, the Star Wars icon spoke about how difficult it was to return to old series and do right by the expectations of the fanbase. But, citing the MCU as a touchstone, he promised that he’d only come back for this treasure-hunting tale if they were able to knock it out of the park.

Speaking to Hey U Guys, Ford explained that he’s not coming back to Indy for fan service. “I don’t really want to give them what they want to see, I want to give them something they didn’t anticipate seeing,” he said. “They are used to a degree of disappointment when you revisit. Certainly, the Marvel movies have made a spectacular example of a success that worked the other way around, they killed it! Well, we’re not going to make another Indiana Jones unless we are in a position to kill it.”

But when will that be? Here, the actor echoed Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, saying that pre-production was still underway for the movie. “We’ve got some scheduling issues and a few script things still to do,” Ford said, “but we are determined to get it right before we get it made.” They have plenty of time to iron out all the wrinkles and connect all the clues because there’s over a year before the next film is scheduled to premiere.

Indiana Jones 5 will swing into theaters on July 9, 2021.


Finally, a fan-favorite animation is putting fans into the sandals of the samurai. Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time takes the Genndy Tartakovsky staple and reimagines him as the lead in a hack-and-slash Musou-style game, where a player runs around as Jack and lays waste to anyone or anything that would oppose him.

The Adult Swim series was beloved by many, as Tartakovsky is an animation favorite behind the likes of Primal and Star Wars: Clone Wars. Now, fans can enter into his world (albeit with a different look).

Check out the trailer below:

Different iterations of the hero — some in his classic garb, others bearded and with a machine gun — battle monsters, demons, and more in the time-warping game. As long as he can kill Aku, all will be well.

Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time hits PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC this summer.