Fans Upset Over How 'The Simpsons' Addressed Apu Stereotype Controversy

Jessica Napoli


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.