Comedian Hari Kondabolu has worked for years to get anything resembling an apology from the creators of “The Simpsons” and actor Hank Azaria for their stereotype-riddled portrayal of Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Azaria, who voices Apu, refused to speak on camera for Kondabolu’s documentary on Apu and racist depictions of South Asians, “The Problem With Apu.” And the long-running animated series seemingly dismissed Kondabolu’s critique in a recent episode.

Azaria finally addressed the criticism during an appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” last night (April 24). 

Without directly naming Kondabolu or his documentary, Azaria, who is White, told Colbert that “The Simpsons” writers’ room needs more South Asians to influence Apu’s direction—with or without him. “I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country, when they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character,” he said. “I’m perfectly willing and happy to step aside or help transition it into something new. I really hope that’s what ‘The Simpsons’ does. It not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do, to me.”

Watch Azaria’s full remarks:


Kondabolu shared the clip with his own thanks for Azaria’s comments:


Several of Kondabolu’s supporters also tweeted about his comments, noting that this response likely would not have happened without Kondabolu’s documentary:


As of press time, no one affiliated with “The Simpsons” has officially commented on Azaria’s remarks.