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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.”

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