The Simpsons Finally Addressed The Apu Controversy – But Not Everyone Is Happy

Comedian Hari Kondabolu led the criticism on Twitter.

Apu on The Simpsons.
Apu on The Simpsons. Is it time to get rid of the character? Image Fox/Getty

The Simpsons has finally responded to the controversy surrounding the character of Apu but, in doing so, may have reignited the issue.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu first addressed the issue in the documentary The Problem With Apu. The film attempted to examine the damaging way the character has served as a negative stereotype for South Asians.

In the documentary, actor Hank Azaria, who voices the character, told Hari that the show’s writers would “definitely address” the issue in future episodes. However, the subsequent response from the team behind The Simpsons has left fans, including Hari, unhappy.

The reference came during the Season 29 episode “No Good Read Goes Unpunished,” in which Marge reads Lisa “her favourite book ever,” The Princess in the Garden, which also happens to feature some rather troubling stereotypes of Irishmen and South Americans.

Aghast at the depictions she didn’t recognise as a youngster, Marge edits the book to make it ostensibly less offensive for this day and age. The book’s lead character Clara, for example, is now a “cisgender girl,” who now fights net neutrality.

 

The book soon prompts a discussion between Marge and Lisa that appears to be about Clara’s story but is clearly meant as a reference to the Apu issue.

“Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” Lisa says, next to a framed picture of Apu. “Some things will be dealt with a later date,” Marge replies. “If at all,” Lisa adds before the pair look at the camera.

Not only is the response woefully undercooked and not especially funny, but it appears to fly in the face of Hari’s protest.

The comedian has led the criticism to the heavy-handed response on Twitter.

He’s not the only one that’s unhappy though.

Some were unhappy that Lisa was used as a mouthpiece for the response.

Not everyone was convinced though and waded into the debate.

It looks like this issue is going to rumble on and on.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.