'The Simpsons' executive producer responds to Apu controversy

Published: April 16, 2018
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PHOTO: INDIAN EXPRESS

PHOTO: INDIAN EXPRESS

PHOTO: INDIAN EXPRESS PHOTO: NBC PHOTO: TELEGRAPH PHOTO: FOX

LOS ANGELES: The Simpsons showrunner and executive producer Al Jean has responded to the feedback surrounding a recent Simpsons episode that attempted to address the controversy over the depiction of character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

The sitcom featured a South Asian character called Apu, who has had to grapple with the troubling stereotype of a convenience store clerk with an exaggerated, fake Indian accent since the show’s existence. It was voiced by Hank Azaria.

PHOTO: TELEGRAPH

PHOTO: TELEGRAPH

“I truly appreciate all the responses pro and con. Will continue to try and find an answer that is popular and more important(ly) right,” Jean tweeted.

An episode from last week of the animated series addressed that Apu represents a racist stereotype through a line, from the character Lisa, delivered while Marge reads her a bedtime story.

“Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” said Marge.

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Lisa then looks over at a framed photograph of Apu, which has the line, “Don’t have a cow!” written on it.

PHOTO: FOX

PHOTO: FOX

Marge states, “Some things will be dealt with at a later date,” to which, Lisa responds, “If at all.”

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Though the episode was well-received by some, many felt the attempt was half-hearted and underdone.

PHOTO: NBC

PHOTO: NBC

Hari Kondabolu, an American comedian and the film-maker with roots in India, who is behind the documentary The Problem with Apu, wrote, “Wow. ‘Politically Incorrect?’ That’s the takeaway from my movie and the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad.”

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Humza
    Apr 17, 2018 - 1:38AM

    Apu is just a harmless nickname for Indians in the US just like Pakistanis are called Paki. It only bothers you if you let it.Recommend

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