‘The Simpsons’ Creator on Apu Controversy: ‘People Love to Pretend They’re Offended’


UPDATE (5/2/2018):

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is addressing the Apu controversy directly.

This week, Groening has been making the rounds talking about the show’s milestone 636th episode — the most episodes aired of any scripted series ever. While speaking with USA Today, Groening was asked about his take on the public’s issue with how the Indian character is portrayed.

“I’m proud of what we do on the show,” he said. “And I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended.”

His sentiments reflect how the controversy was addressed within the show recently. Meanwhile viewers remain torn over the depiction of Apu — though his portrayer Hank Azaria recently said he’s happy to step away from the role.

The Simpsons creator, Matt Groening.

ORIGINAL STORY (4/9/2018):

In a recent The Simpsons episode, the controversy surrounding one of its characters, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, a South Asian quick-mart owner, was finally addressed—but the way it was done wasn’t sufficient for many fans.

The Fox series was responding to the 2017 documentary created by filmmaker and comedian Hari Kondabolu called The Problem with Apu. In his film, Kondabolu argues that the character of Apu is culturally insensitive and perpetuates negative stereotypes of Indian and South Asian-American people.

Homer and Apu

The documentary reignited debate about the responsibility of the media, and how minorities are typically depicted in unfair ways on the small screen.

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The show caught criticism for 'demeaning people of color.'

The scene in question starts with Marge reading Lisa a bedtime story but she’s reworked the storyline to reflect the cultural awareness evident in 2018 society. Lisa says there’s “no point” in the story’s plot anymore and continues, “It’s hard to say. Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”

The show then cuts to a framed photo on her nightstand of Apu with Bart’s line “Don’t have a cow.”

Kondabolu responded on Twitter:

As did other fans:

What did you think of the way the show addressed the issue? Sound off in the comments below.