The Simpsons showrunner responds to Apu controversy
Executive producer Al Jean addressed the criticism that Apu represents a racist stereotype
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 Simpsons 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.
A recent episode of the animated series addressed the criticism 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?" says Marge, another character from The Simpsons.
Lisa then looks over at a framed photograph of Apu, which has the line: "Don't have a cow!" written on it.
Marge responds, "Some things will be dealt with at a later date"
To which, Lisa says, "If at all."
Though the episode was well-received by some, many felt the attempt was half-hearted and underdone.
Hari Kondabolu, an American comedian and the filmmaker 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."