NEW YORK — Hank Azaria is ready to stop voicing Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu on "The Simpsons" in the wake of criticism that it's a stereotype.
Azaria said on Tuesday's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that he hopes the Fox animated show makes a change, and he's willing to step aside if necessary.
Azaria 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."
He added: "It just feels like the right thing to do."
People of South Asian heritage have criticized the heavily accented Apu for reinforcing stereotypes they say lead to bullying and self-loathing. Azaria said it makes him sad if anyone was bullied because of Apu. He said he "wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character."