Hank Azaria has apologised for voicing the Indian character Apu on The Simpsons. Hank – who’s white – had played the convenience store owner since 1990. He first announced he was stepping down from voicing Apu in January 2020. Speaking on Dax Shepherd’s Armchair Expert podcast, the actor said: “Part of me feels like I need to go around to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologise.” The character has been criticised for years for reinforcing racial stereotypes.
Arts & Entertainment
A satirical program on local public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) is facing harsh criticism after a segment aired featuring a comedian performing in blackface. The criticism comes amid a growing backlash in Germany over repeated instances of blackface and all-white panel discussions on racism in German television shows. What happened in the sketch? In the show “SchleichFernsehen” on Thursday evening, cabaret artist Helmut Schleich mimed a Black despot. The character Maxwell Strauss, head of the fictitious state of Mbongalo, gives Germany advice on how to deal with the pandemic and tells He calls for the opposition to “shut up.” The sketch is a parody of Franz Josef Strauss, a former leader of Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union (CSU). Strauss, who died in 1988, was also known for his coarse pronunciation and for telling critics to keep their mouths shut.
During a Commons heritage committee meeting last week, the head of Canada’s broadcast regulator said the agency will “regulate all programming,” including the internet, via the passage of a controversial bill now before parliament. “The Commission has looked, three times in total dating back 20 years, at whether or not it would be desirable or necessary to regulate content delivered over the internet,” said Ian Scott, CEO of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as reported by Blacklocks Reporter. “In the past, the commission has concluded regulating it would not meaningfully contribute to the broadcasting system. Now the world has changed.” Scott’s proposed internet regulation will include “all programming” of online video providers such as popular streaming services such as Disney+ and Netflix. Scott said that Canada’s “Broadcasting Act is now 30 years old,” and that back in 1991 when enacted, Parliament “could not foresee how modern technology would change.”
Destroying history to avoid ‘unnecessary offense.’ The news has been quietly making the rounds in European news outlets, following an initial report by the newspaper De Standaard that was picked up subsequently by several French publications: a new translation of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, written between 1304 and 1307, is causing controversy following the translator’s alterations. Valeurs Actuelles reported that Lies Lavrijsen, who was tasked with the translation of the famous book by the Florentine poet, decided to remove any mention of Muhammad altogether, in a push to make the text more “more pleasant and accessible.” Speaking on the Belgian radio station Radio 1, she defended her exclusion, stating “a widest possible accessibility,” especially for “a younger audience,” as her justification. She added: “We knew that if we left this passage as it was written, we would have unnecessarily hurt a large part of the readers.” Lies Lavrijsen even reveals that the decision was made “in the tense period that saw the death of the teacher Samuel Paty in France.”
George Segal, the Oscar-nominated actor who sparred with Richard Burton in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” romanced Glenda Jackson in “A Touch of Class” and won laughs in the TV sitcom “The Goldbergs,” has died at the age of 87. “The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery,” his wife Sonia Segal said in a statement on Tuesday.
Rick Moranis has found himself a top trending name on Twitter after the FBI shared a photo of suspect in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots who bares a resemblance to the Canadian screen icon. “You can help the #FBI identify individuals involved in the January 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol,” the bureau’s post read. “Visit tips.fbi.gov if you recognize this person. Reference photo 268 in your tip.”