U.S. animated comedy series The Simpsons will no longer use white actors for the voices of characters from other ethnic backgrounds, the show's producers say.
Henry wrote on Twitter that he will stop playing the show's main Black character because "persons of colour should play characters of colour". "Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role", Henry said.
Azaria said earlier this year that he would no longer play the character, which has been criticised as a negative portrayal of Indian-Americans.
"Moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters", the producers said in a short statement. For instance, Simpsons staple Harry Shearer provides the voice of the Bill Cosby-esque Dr. Julius Hibbert, who is Black.
Similar statements have been made in recent weeks by actors including Frozen star Kristen Bell, who will no longer voice a non-white character in an Apple TV+ comedy. Henry voiced Cleveland and his son, Rallo, on the spin-off "The Cleveland Show" for four seasons from 2009-2013.
The producers' statement did not say whether Apu or the other characters would remain on the series. "I have learned that one of my blind spots was how much racism has also impacted my own humanity: I continued to be complicit with a harmful practice even as I believed I was already doing the right thing".
The character has always been seen as problematic and conveying racist stereotypes.
"The idea that anybody - young or old, past or present - was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad", said Azaria, who voices other characters on the show.