Television

The Simpsons Admitted Apu Is Problematic, Just Not the Way People Wanted

Lisa and Marge tackle political correctness and The Problem with Apu.

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On last night's episode of The Simpsons, the show finally addressed the controversy surrounding the character of Apu, who some viewers consider a racist caricature of an Indian man.

Apu, an Indian immigrant and manager of the Kwik-E-Mart, is voiced by Hank Azaria, a Jewish man. His portrayal of Apu has drawn criticism—most recently in the 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu—for relying on ethnic stereotype. Indian comedian Hari Kondabolu, the film's star, is a Simpsons fan who grew up being thankful for Apu's existence but has come to view the character as extremely problematic.

In a clip from the episode, Marge sanitizes a bedtime story, prompting Lisa to point out that the politically correct version is pretty boring. "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect," she says. "What can you do?" A portrait of Apu sits in the corner of the screen as she says this.

Kondabolu was not pleased.

Elsewhere, public reaction was thunderous. NPR's Linda Holmes accused The Simpsons of essentially telling Kondabolu to "drop dead."

"So Lisa, the show's unshakable crusader for justice, including in matters of popular culture, has been reduced to a mouthpiece for the lazy idea that asking for better representation is an unfair burden on creators; an unreasonable demand that things be 'politically correct,'" wrote Holmes. "That is regrettable, to say the least."

Joe's Carl Kinsella went even further, calling the episode "a gaping wound where the show's funny bone used to be. A malignant tumour in its brain blocking the path of any possible introspection whatsoever."

I don't agree. The clip was clearly introspective. After lamenting that erasing all offense can make for uninteresting comedy, Lisa tacitly references the show's history of depicting Apu as a stereotype. Marge say that "some things will be dealt with at a later date, if at all." Many seem to be interpreting this as the writers letting themselves off the hook (The New York Times called it "a dismissal"), but I'm not so sure. It sounds like The Simpsons is making fun of itself for not handling this whole thing better, while also mocking the humorlessness of political-correctness-run-amok. The expressions on their faces say a great deal: Lisa and Marge look uncomfortable, even regretful, rather than defensive.

This falls well short of a full apology, and thus it isn't surprising that Kondabolu and company aren't satisfied with it. But The Simpsons didn't dodge The Problem with Apu. The writers evidently think the problem is more complicated.

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237 responses to “The Simpsons Admitted Apu Is Problematic, Just Not the Way People Wanted

  1. So, honesty time: I have never seen a single episode of The Simpsons.

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        2. How much can I make if I can write complete English sentences which lack grammar errors?

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    1. ‘What’s a moider?’

    2. How do you understand Internet quotes without the cultural history?

      We’re here! We’re queer! We don’t want any more bears!

      1. I HAVE SEX WITH DOGS! WHAT’S UP WITH THAT!

        1. Who controls the British crown?
          Who keeps the metric system down?
          WE DO! WE DO!

      2. If you have a problem with it, dial 912.

    3. Well, in his defense, it’s only been on for about 30 years, so maybe he needs time to catch up.

      1. On the other hand, the first few years should be enough.

      2. Kind of cool in a way. With that many episodes, he could start now and watch at his leisure for months.

  2. Just write him out of the show and replace him with a cis white male. That’ll show ’em.

    1. I’m filled with piss and vinegar! At first, I was just filled with vinegar

      1. So I tied an onion to my belt…

        1. …which was the style at the time

          1. …Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. “Give me five bees for a quarter,” you’d say.

            Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…

            1. “See this, son? [shows young Grandpa a magazine photo of the Statue of Liberty] That’s where we’re goin’ to live. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow…but someday.”

              Later that day we set sail for America.

  3. Nothing symbolizes non-white immigrants becoming full-blooded Americans nowadays better than the constant desire to be offended and cast themselves as oppressed victims. It is the new American way of life.

    1. I used to be with it, but then they changed what “it” was, and now what I’m with isn’t it. And what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me

      1. That’s called “getting old.” It happens.

        1. I can finally win a gold medal. I came close at the 1936 Olympics. I threw a javelin that barely missed Hitler. But I did hit an assassin who was trying to kill Hitler

        2. That’s not how they reply to that line on the show, is it?

    2. And to think that once upon a time the American dream was to work hard and get a little slice of the pie to call your own, like Apu.

      1. Apu didn’t build that

    3. I want to wear a shirt that says, “I’m offended that you’re offended.”

  4. “Elsewhere, public reaction was thunderous. NPR’s Linda Holmes accused The Simpsons of essentially telling Kondabolu to “drop dead.”

    Good.

    It’s about time people start giving the old Italian salute to the perpetually outraged.

    https://bit.ly/2qj0ODn

    The last thing I need is a guinea complaining about Fat Tony. I’m sure this guy finds Fat Tony and his crew (and the Italian cook) ‘problematic’ right?

    1. I don’t get mad, I get stabby.

      1. You know who else got stabby…

        1. The Blue Rajah?

          Wait, no…Stab Man?

    2. Things started getting worse the moment dirty hippies weren’t beaten anymore. Then they felt free to push their stupid ideas . Look where that’s left us.

      1. Like Paul Joseph Watson says, “You can’t be the counterculture and the dominant culture at the same time.”

        1. That’s cis-logic. How dare you employ it!

    3. Take them cannoli. While you can.

    4. Well, Fat Tony is voiced by an italian so, there is that.

      1. No, Fat Tony isn’t voiced by an Italian. He is voiced by an American.

    5. “LOS ANGELES ? “Goodfellas” actor Frank Sivero’s bid to end the life of “The Simpsons” mob henchman Louie was shot down by a California appeals court Tuesday, which found Sivero had simply been “Simpsonized” ? a transformative use protected by the First Amendment.”

      (https://www.courthousenews.com/simpsonized/)

  5. The Simpsons response tonight is not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress.

    That’s called disagreement. What a useless response. As if he’s incredulous that because he and others believe it that it’s suddenly law.

    1. If you call something “progress” that makes it unimpeachable. You can disagree, but not really publicly and certainly not in a way that suggests mockery.

  6. NPR’s Linda Holmes accused The Simpsons of essentially telling Kondabolu to “drop dead.”

    If they didn’t, they should have.

    1. …and thrown in a punch in the face for good luck.

    2. Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean that I don’t understand

    3. We should all point and laugh at the “journalists” so upset with a cartoon.

      1. Why would a man whose shirt says “Genius at Work” spend all of his time watching a children’s cartoon show?

        1. The Simpsons is a kids’ show?

        2. I don’t think that’s the target audience at all

        3. A show that has brought laughter to your homes three days a week, eighteen weeks a year, for
          twelve of the past 25 years.

    4. This makes me like the Simpsons writers.

  7. If we can’t find social justice in decade-old cartoons, where can we, well, find it?

    1. Tumblr, your one-stop shop for all your retardation needs!

    2. Ironic, isn’t it, Smithers? This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election. And yet, if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you

      1. Mr. Burns understood Hillary, eh?

        1. Oh my God, good catch! I didn’t think of that one! I usually think of Hillary as Tracy Flick of Election.

          1. Hillary Clinton and any word that can easily be mistaken for the word erection don’t belong in the same sentence, Fear Boner being the only obvious exception

          2. Hillary didn’t start out as the vile thing we see today. Although I’m sure she was loathsome enough inner youth, I’m sure it took some time to become what she is now.

            1. When the alligators start talking about ‘draining the swamp’, I’m always pretty sure it’s just so they can get at the fish easier.

  8. Lisa tacitly references the show’s history of depicting Apu as a stereotype.

    I’m going to quote Iowahawk here, “Oh sod off. Apu is a hard working small businessman, devoted father, braves constant armed robberies by Spike, and drives a bitchin’ Trans Am. The only Simpson character worthy of emulating.”

    1. Oh boy, dinnertime. The perfect break between work and drunk!

    2. Pretty much.

      Apu references some stereotypes (of course!), but he’s not a cardboard cutout – he’s arguably more developed a character than the Simpsons themselves are.

      1. I have asked you nicely not to mangle my merchandise, you leave me no choice… but to ask you nicely again.

        1. Yes, yes. I know the procedure for armed robbery.

      2. Are the Simpsons not stereotypical working/middle class white people?

        If we got rid of all stereotypes on TV, there’d be no shows left.

        1. “Are the Simpsons not stereotypical working/middle class white people?”

          Homer was an astronaut, and toured the world with two different bands, the Bee Sharps and then Sadgasm.

    3. This is exactly the problem, BUCS, and the dangerous stereotype that Kondabolu was crusading against. Not all Indians are hard workers.

      1. Das Racist would disagree

        1. Makes sense, Dapwell from Das Racist is this guy’s brother.

  9. This world is being polluted by humorless, grievance-mongering screaming garbage babies.

    I have to go now. My planet needs me.

    1. I swear if that Yaukza-Mafia fight isn’t one of the greatest scenes in TV history….’forgive-a-ness, please’.

      1. They’ll kill ya five times before ya hit the ground

      2. But, Marge, that little guy hasn’t done anything yet. Look at him. He’s gonna do something and you know it’s gonna be good. [Karate Yell] – [Thudding] – Aw.

  10. The thing about stereotypes is that they are usually true. When I walk into the local 7/11 people that look and sound like Apu work there.

    1. For the next five minutes, I’m going to party like it’s on sale for $19.99

      1. Don’t Worry…I’ll Tell Everybody You Were Untouchable …

    2. I can’t even get into Apu. I mean, he’s Indian, but everyone knows that convenience stores are run by Pakistanis. Sigh.

      1. Kent Brockman says “fake news!”

      2. Where I live they’re run by Iraqi Chaldeans. Except the one outside of town run by a hairy, bearded Egyptian. I don’t know how he snuck in.

      3. We got a 7-11 run by a sikh (nice guy, serious, but professional), one run by Phillipinos (clean as a Japanese patio, I mean pristine, man) and several run by guys that are some kind of A-rabs. The A-rabs HATE their customers, and seem to HATE the fact they ever have to do anything for anyone, and HATE the fact they’re not ruler of a tribe with a harem. Honest to God, I cannot imagine why they would ever get into any kind of service industries. I avoid them as much as possible.

  11. I didn’t think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows

  12. The Simpsons started before I was even born so it’s not like I can claim to be a fan from the beginning. However, if I did watch it, I would certainly stop now in solidarity with marginalized people who find Apu problematic.

    Unfortunately even shows that premiered more recently can still be guilty of perpetuating white privilege. Game of Thrones has been justifiably criticized for its lack of important characters of color, for instance. That’s why I cannot allow myself to watch it. My progressive friends tell me I should check out Empire for a positive representation of strong POC characters.

    1. You should really watch those old 60’s Dick Tracy cartoons. Very ethnically diverse characters.

      1. Dick Tracy? Hell, I can’t watch the old Dick Van Dyke Show! Some white dude married to a white chick with a white boss. Gagh.

        1. The bleep van bleep show, starring bleep van bleep.

          Ok, different show.

        2. I boycotted the Dick Van Dyke show because it showed a white man married to young ex-dancer Mary Tyler Moore and they slept in separate beds??? Are you fucking kidding me? Dick Van Dyke=Cuck Zero.

          In his defense, it was network policy to avoid any intimation that married couples engaged in sex, but still…

      2. The only one to properly represent the noble prune-faced peoples.

    2. How is it that people who only see skin color can’t also see how racist they are simply by looking for it?

      1. Because under a system of white supremacy, it’s racist not to talk about race, since failing to confront white supremacy allows it to thrive.

        1. That’s fucking beautiful.

          Now, while you’re continuing your race bean counting, why don’t you tell me exactly when that bean counting will inform you that you no longer need to count beans?

        2. I feel like that’s the rhetorical version of the placebo effect.

        3. So how has talking about nothing but race for the last decade turned out?

        4. “” it’s racist not to talk about race”‘

          But it’s also racist to talk about race.

        5. “”since failing to confront white supremacy allows it to thrive.”‘

          What keeps it alive in countries without white supremacy.

          I heard a comedian with a great view on this. It was something like this.

          I’m from the South, and one of the things I like about NYC is everything is more intellectual. Including your racism. Back home it was Mexicans suck. Here is about how much better the Dominicans are than Cubans.

        6. Japanese are racist against the Chinese. Good lord, call someone from PR a Dominican and see the response you get.

          Any true conversation about racism would not be blame whitey.

      2. They were retarded douchebags to begin with.

    3. Empire did a miraculous thing and made me feel bad for Courtney Love. The first season that I saw was a pretty enjoyable soap opera.

      1. Sure Courtney has problems, at least she didn’t shoot up a school for attention.

    4. Grown-ups being offended by cartoons should totally be taken seriously.

      1. actually these days cartoons are the most intelligent thing to watch on TV.

        1. And yet grown-ups who are grieved by cartoons are still idiots. Imagine that

          1. “And yet grown-ups who are grieved by cartoons are still idiots. Imagine that”

            Charlie Hebdo agrees.

        2. “actually these days cartoons are the most intelligent thing to watch on TV.”

          And grown ups being “offended” by them will be the fix for that.

          1. It’s just a matter of time before the SJW’s manage to organize a large scale campaign to remove The Simpsons. Indeed, the only reason it hasn’t happened is that many of them grew up watching it. If it were a new show, there would be an eruption of SJW outrage.

    5. That’s not the only thing that was going on before you were born.

  13. Stereotypes are good first approximations…

    1. Or…stereotypes are good predictors of a group, but bad predictors of an individual.

  14. It’s kind of disappointing that a 22 minute animated comedy show didn’t take the time to craft a thoughtful, serious response to its critics.

    1. Well, in their defense, when they finally get thoughtful, serious criticism, they might take it seriously.

  15. So what is the rule now? No stereotyping allowed? Any common cultural idiosyncrasies are to be ignored?

    I’m pretty sure this is exactly the point the writers were trying to make. When you remove cultural observations from the dialog of art, you’re removing a helluv-a-lot of areas of reflection/observation.

  16. “Wow. “Politically Incorrect?” That’s the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad.”

    No. You’re sad. Fuck off.

    Kent Brockman: “Top of the morning to ye on this gray, grizzly afternoon. Kent O’Brockman, live on Main Street, where today everyone is a little bit Irish, except, of course, for the gays and the Italians.”

    1. Great line.

  17. This interests me as much as NPR human interest stories. That is to say, I couldn’t give a damn. Organizations are interested in turning this country into a giant political reeducation camp on the taxpayer’s dime.

    1. I stopped reading NPR when they stopped having Comments Sections.

  18. Is that show still on?

    1. Yes. It is basically an unkillable institution at this point.

      1. I think, at this point, it’s actually illegal for any of the main voice cast to die.

      2. It use to be funny in the 90’s. Not that Nick Sarwark over here would understand funny

  19. I only speak-a, how you say… fractured English.
    – Luigi Risotto.

    1. Hey, you trust-ah Luigi, huh? He knows-ah what for to make-ah really nice the amore

      1. You come a-with me. Come with Luigi.You don’t want to sit. With the rest of this a-scum.

  20. what many of us consider progress.

    Yep, here’s your problem.

  21. I find the Homer character to be an insulting stereotyping of white males as lazy and stupid. Where can I make money off my grievance?

    1. Bad news, Dad. We’re out of food. We’re even out of the basic elements of food. You ate all the tarragon and you drank all the soy sauce!

      1. ‘We can’t afford steak.’

        ‘Steak?’

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVx_K0M5oSE

        1. I mangled the quote.

    2. I suggest the teamsters

      Homer: “Oh, i always wanted to be a teamster. So lazy and surly. You mind if i relax next to you?”
      Season 7, Episode 2

      1. While being pushed to be Union president.

        Homer: Does the job come with money?

        Union rep: No

        Homer: ohh.

        Union rep: Unless you corrupt

        Homer: Woo whoo!

  22. The SJWs would never be satisfied by anything, “full apology” or otherwise. There are only two reasonable responses when you hear someone call something “problematic”: either ignore them, or say “Go fuck yourself.”

    1. “You can’t apologize to a mob”

      1. -Jordan Peterson

    2. Full apology, then followed by doing what they say, then a large cash donation to a relevant “non profit”.

  23. A Jewish Indian named Hank has simply got to be a trigger for much worse racial collectivist profiling than anything the National Socialists ever did in the name of altruism and Christianity. Did I get that message right? The Simpsons must’ve really ticked off some tear-streaked snowflakes… was it the nuclear power plant?

  24. Just ask Apu what he thinks.

    1. You realize this is why people roll their eyes at progressives like you, right?

      1. But why don’t the looniest of right-wingers get to represent all of you?

        1. So you agree that this guy is loony?

          1. Yes but only a few paces into loony town, while your guys run the place.

            1. You’re pretty oblivious, aren’t you. The deputy chairman of the DNC is an anti-Semitic black supremacist, a bonafide socialist is the favorite for the next presidential campaign, the NYT is trying to rehabilitate the USSR, and NPR is demoninzing the Simpsons over Apu, and you’re trying to play it off as a few loonies who don’t run the show? Take your pills, Tony.

  25. I’m just glad that we take grown-ups who are offended by a cartoon seriously. What a time to be alive

    1. “grown-ups who are offended by a cartoon”

      Does not compute

  26. Apu

    Bless you.

  27. Is Dr. Nick Rivera ‘problematic’ too?

    1. Oh, they’ll get to Dr.Nick.

      They killed Speedy Gonzales, didn’t they?

      Social Justice, crushing happiness, one smile at a time.

      1. They killed Speedy Gonzalez?

        Nooooooo!

        1. But he was a good guy, and the bad guys were Anglo stereotypes who…oh, what’s the use, sure, kill him.

          And apparently they actually made Tom and Jerry friends, just like the Simpson’s version of Ben and Jerry (Itchy and Scratchy), only with the Simpson’s it was a joke about how to lose your audience…ay caramba.

          Oops!

          1. One of Speedy’s friends was Slow Poke Rodriquez. His appearances have been, erm, rare.

          2. Don’t worry. They killed Gonzalez to not offend Mexicans, but he’s actually still popular and well in Mexico.

      2. Hong Kong Fooey. I’ve been sure to show this intro to my kid many times while it’s still available.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va_Rmpd3PZI

  28. In the second episode of Cheers (1982)* a Guy named Leo Metz comes looking for the previous owner of the bar and finds Coach. Coach has him lay out his problem. The guy says his son came home from college and his son’s new fiance is black. After the usual Abbott and Costello “And your son’s not?” rhetoric, Coach says you sit your boy and his black (comedic reveal) *boyfriend* down and you tell him you’re kicking him out and you never want to see him again. To which Leo says (cue comedy turn), “I can’t do that. I love the kid too much. But what you’re saying is, I either need to support him or I’m going to lose him.” To which Coach says, “I did? That’s good!” and Leo leaves to reconcile with his son.

    19. 80. 2. Not only was OK to make a joke about a kid having a black gay fiance *and* have ‘Throw the kid out.’ presented as a viable option; what most everyone would consider the right choice was made and sold as the right choice. 19. 80. 2., It’s not ‘progressive’, it’s anti-progress.

    *It’s on Netflix for all the people who don’t know what I’m talking about and need to get off my lawn.

    1. I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. Cheers was great.

      1. I was saying just yesterday how lucky I was to grow up in the time of great TV: WKRP in Cincinnati, Taxi, Hill Street Blues, Cheers, Diff’rent Strokes, M*A*S*H*, Monday Night Football, Family Ties, Webster, Lottery, Matt Houston, Dallas…sigh.

  29. What’s Hindi for “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke”?

    -jcr

    1. See, if that was a reference to the highly underrated and little known baseball movie Long Gone, you’d deserve mad props.

  30. Apu is problematic?

    Have you people ever been to a convenience store?

    He’s not a stereotype. He’s the guy behind the counter–made into a cartoon. That’s how cartoons work. He’s damned near indestructible, witty and sarcastic when need be, clumsy and stupid when the situation calls for it.

    Just like every other cartoon.

    1. If they wanted to be insulting, they would have made him a cab driver.

  31. The Simpsons response tonight is not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress.

    Identity politiking is regressive.

  32. Sigh. Fine.

    Oh, Mr. Homer. What has reduced you to such cheap chicanery?

  33. Man I stopped watching after season 11. It just stopped being funny after that.

  34. If ‘The Simpsons’ actually apologizes, I will watch it again!

    No wait…I have that backward. So, I’m good whatever they do, I guess.

  35. Make fun of the Italians. Make fun of the Irish. Make fun of the Jews. Make fun of Christians. Make fun of drunks. Make fun of the rich fucks. But don’t you dare, don’t you event think about making fun of people of sufficient color!

  36. I play poker with an Indian convenience store owner.

    Reality is problematic.

  37. So which is the better response, kill off the character Apu or completely rewrite him even though he’s been around for around thirty years?

    I wager if they kill him off, people will complain about a lack of ‘diversity’ and if they rewrite him people will complain about revisionist history.

    In other words, heads the critics win or tails the Simpson’s lose.

    1. They should have him be the first transracial Simpson character.

      He should change his name to Scooter and be a Scotch-Irish Appalachian. With a banjo.

      Catch Phrase: You sure got a purty mouth

  38. That had to be the cuntiest twitter thread I’ve ever seen. Fucking people.

  39. to much time on people hands maybe they should go feed the homeless instead of telling everyone else what to do

    1. Did you just tell them what to do?

  40. There is no “problem” with Apu. He’s arguably the sanest character on the show.

  41. Meanwhile millions of Hillary Clinton supporters empirically search all gas stations in St. Louis for Gandhi.

  42. So make Apu a mediocre programmer who works 9-5 in a cubicle for some beige company in the Springfield office park. Every night he goes home to his distracted anglo wife and their even more distracted daughter, who doesn’t really like school but doesn’t have the initiative to be rebellious. They watch a lot of TV, but nothing edgy.

    Now that’s fucking funny.

    1. Play Still by the Geto Boys in the background and you have a classic in the making.

  43. “calling the episode “a gaping wound where the show’s funny bone used to be.””

    Doesn’t that describe the whole show nowadays?

    It’s like SNL – who knows what they had to do in exchange for their elixir of TV Immortality?

    1. The final nail in SNL’s coffee was when they went all cunty-cultish for Obama.

      1. I’m still somewhat offended they thought it appropriate to combine an homage to Leonard Cohen with a weird mourning of Hillary losing. Why merge those things? In such a humorless, entirely unironic way as well.

        1. Because they’re idiots?

          At least Miller, Quinn and MacDonald were ACTUALLY smart and clearly brought balance to what’s become a really shitty and didactic show preaching to an increasingly more retarded choir.

          1. I will not defend Quinn, he was horrible. Worse than Myers? Probably not, but he was bad. I will defend MacDonald to my death, he was the GOAT.

            1. MacDonald IS the GOAT.

              Yeh not sure why I included Quinn; I might have overshot.

              1. It’s easy to go a little overboard hating modern SNL. I understand.

                1. SNL is a hate-fest, just like Kimmel et al.

                  Belushi.

      2. “The final nail in SNL’s coffee”

        Remind me not to order a cup of joe in Canada

        1. lol.

          Coffin.

  44. The one time I cringed at the Apu character was when his neighbors gave him and his wife special fertility drugs so they ended up with, like, eight children, while the other characters have at most three. Except maybe the hillbilly family.

  45. This discussion has made me wonder how things got fixated on Apu, what with the black jazz musician, psychotic Scottish drunk, Italian mafia types, etc. And just wait till they get a hold of Family Guy, with a character whose name begins “Asian Reporter.”

    I shall ponder this as I go to almost any convenience store in my town and buy stuff from an Indian-American.

    1. THAT SCOTTISH DRUNK HAS A NAME. SAY IT.

      1. You know, when you Google Scottish Actors (one of which I was going to select to make fun of), you get Ewan McGregor, Connery, and them almost everyone else is someone from Game of Thrones or Doctor Who.

    2. Like, dot indian or ‘woo woo woo’ indian?

  46. I’m commenting on Hit & Run in order to buy sex.

    Anybody got a problem with that? I’m asking you, FOSTA/SESTA!

    1. You want to get screwed out of your money? Try irs.gov.

    2. Obviously a typo… this guy is looking for bi sex.

  47. Back in the late 80’s, when PC was just starting to be a thing, my friend and I used to make fun of it, and even had a running joke called “The PC Police” we’d do, like an impromptu comedy skit. Our minds, at the time, could not have imaged the far depths and breadth of this mind cancer, called Political Correctness, has evolved.

    1. When we went to Europe back in 1990 we had a feature called ‘Butts and Buildings.’ We’d take footage of a building and then follow it with an ass of a girl we videoed. My brother got caught by an Italian girl and she said, ‘are you for real?’ but her friends laughed and found it hilarious.

      Try that shit today.

  48. The thing is though, there’s a lot of truth to Apu. Virtually every Indian immigrant I’ve known personally is hard working, friendly, and has an odd command of English that takes some getting used to. Apu might be a stereotype, but he’s a positive one

  49. “Who needs the Kwiki-Mart? We dooooo.”

  50. Is Apu any more offensive than Fat Tony or the Comic book guy? The Simpsons had slanty eyed Asians in supporting roles (Cookie Kwan, Akira) and typically depict the Irish as drunken misfits. No one cared for over 20 years.

    This is the sensitivity brigade finding old things to be offended about. The writers are getting a taste of their own medicine in a way. The show turned “woke” years ago and became a mouthpiece for liberal talking points. The political humor became way less subtle and Lisa went from a girl with a conscience (who had a moral dilemma over mom stealing grapes and dad stealing cable) to a left wing activist.

    When the show was at its height it was a product of the 90’s. You can see the influence of Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield on the earlier episodes when it dealt with more “slice of life’ themes about childhood and marital life. It’s really painful that everything on TV nowadays is “diverse” and political in the most calculating way possible.

    1. Ned Flanders.

      It’s wrong to stereotype anyone. but the white Christian.

  51. Groundskeeper Willie is okay though, right?

    1. All white men are equally and indistinguishably oppressors. There is no difference between the school janitor and Mr. Burns in terms of power.

  52. What about Grandpa?

    None of you children could see the horrible ageism the Simpsons have been pushing for decades? What’s wrong with you bigots??

  53. This falls well short of a full apology, and thus it isn’t surprising that Kondabolu and company aren’t satisfied with it.

    Kevin Williamson was correct when he pointed out that the left demands full capitulation, nothing else, and that is “why culture war is war instead of conversation.”

  54. It’s a funny cartoon. People need to lighten up.

    1. Lighten up? Oh, I bet you’d like everyone to be a lighter shade, wouldn’t you?

      1. We all know he really meant whiten up.

    2. The Simpsons haven’t been funny in 20 years.

      I don’t normally truck with SJWs, but if they finally put that show out of its misery, I’ll lay off them for a few days.

  55. This nobody “comedian” is going to try and make a gravy train from this, just like the gamergate “journalist”

    1. You can tell a comedian is woke when he puts you to sleep.

  56. . . . has been reduced to a mouthpiece for the lazy idea that asking for better representation is an unfair burden on creators;

    You read this and wonder – have these people ever *seen* how Apu is portrayed on the show? Have they seen his work ethic? Have they seen the sacrifices he’s made? Have they seen why he does it all – his beautiful wife and the betterment of his family? Because that’s the joke.

    All that has been shown on the show. The joke is that behind this *gentle* caricature, Apu has a rich inner and outer life. His work at the Quiki-Mart doesn’t define him, its simply what he does to make ends meet. *How* he does it, the care and attention he puts into his store, the dedication, the fearlessness in the face of the real danger’s he’s faced there when no one else is around (he’s got several bullet wounds from fighting off armed robbers in the night) – *that’s* the real Apu.

    And that’s all been shown by the Simpsons.

    So, for someone who claims to be ‘a Simpsons fan who grew up being thankful for Apu’s existence’ to then say that his portrayal is ‘problematic’ is . . . it just shows that the guy never paid attention to the show.

    1. Some sad people, Hari Kondabolu among them, can’t get past the color of his skin.

  57. I don’t know what the problem is, I love being a stereotypical white male.

  58. I fully support these kinds of social justice campaigns. This absurd, childish behavior turns people against SJWs faster than the monstrously pervasive racism of The Simpsons ever could!

    Let’s be honest: apart from its sponsors, a for-profit program has no responsibility to offer anyone any “representation,” whatsoever! Only a delusional imbecile or a narcissistic attention-whore would believe otherwise. Furthermore, we all know SJWs don’t “ask for better representation” – they demand placement on a pedestal to spout propaganda and they try to shame and belittle anyone who dares refuse.

    Perhaps the great documentarian and the leftists at NPR should take a risk and invest some of their personal wealth in creating their own show. Then they can have all the “representation” their precious little bolshevik hearts desire! Of course, they’d need to have an audience large enough to ensure profitability and all taxpayer “grants” would be off limits. Still and all, I think it could be a monstrous success! Most Americans clearly prefer properly “representing” .09% of our population as sensitively, accurately and inoffensively as possible over trifling things like good comedy and watchability.

  59. So, is the uproar from the PC crowd because no Indian man, with a heavy accent, has ever owned a convenience store?

  60. Apu is a stereotype… But at the same time it’s not inaccurate, and it’s not a BAD stereotype really. He’s a good hard working family man who makes good money and is an upright citizen. He has an accent, ya know, like people born in foreign countries tend to have in the real world? Would it have been better if he’d owned a doughnut shop? Or a coffee shop? WTF do these people want???

    SJWs… I really do just want to round them up and put them in camps at this point! There will be no peace with these people until they are AT LEAST crushed into dust by the broader society and completely ignored/marginalized and nobody cares what they think. I relentlessly mock SJWs when I encounter them in real life, assuming it’s in a situation where I won’t have blow back because I personally know them or whatever. I have more nuanced conversations with people I know who hold this stupid ideas, some of them have even come around a touch.

  61. The problem is that the Simpsons didn’t get cancelled in 1999. The past 20 seasons have been utter shit.

  62. To Hari Kondabolu, everything is racism; even white chocolate.

  63. Clumsy response by the Simpsons. Should have just kept quiet..

    Hari K has gone overboard in taking it this personally. I am probably a decade older than he is. Apu’s accent was not unrealistic even if it was a stereotype.The caricature was in synch with the rest of the show. None of my friends who were Indian american were insulted by Apu at the time.

    The funny thing is Hari did mention one point that he could have spent more time on and he dropped the ball. It was about that nonsensical last name . I noticed even liberal writers in Hollywood show a casual racism when they refuse to take even a frew seconds to come up with legitimate Indian names for their characters especially the last names. Tina Fey uses a ridiculous name like Kevin Gnapoor for an Indian character in Mean Girls. There is no such fucking name as Gnapoor . Which is no different from making up a name like Ping Pong for a chinese guy. If the writers wanted to cop to making fun of long Indian names , I would have some respect for them. But one of the wirters covers his ass by saying he knew someone with a similar first and last name and when combined together, it formed Apu’s last name. I call bullshit on such a claim.

    Hank Azaria had no obligation to talk to Hari. Hari should have talked to the writer who gave that idiotic last name

    1. Should we expect better from a show with a recurring character named Mrs. Krabapple?

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  65. Seems to me that Homer and many other characters are denigrating to white males….portrayed as dumb, alcoholic, out of shape, not good family men, poor employees…

    1. But that’s okay because they’re white men! Everybody knows white men only rule the world by being evil and oppressive, so it’s not like any white men could actually be decent, competent human beings… So showing their true form in the media is what is required to destroy the racist patriarchy. Duh.

  66. The simplest and most common sense solution to the “Apu Problem” is to just introduce another character. Another Indian American, but minus the stereotypes. Apu would still be around in his current form, but there would now be a second Indian American character, who doesn’t conform to the stereotypes, so you’d get the full range of what Indian Americans are like. People like Apu really do exist, just like Azzi exists.

    I mean the hardcore SJW won’t be satisfied with that (if ever), but the moderate SJW and just about every one else will. Or am I missing something?

    1. That would make sense, can’t do that!

      I think they should double down and introduce an Indian tech bro with just as strong an accent! Fuck the SJWs. I live in Seattle, and THAT new Indian stereotype is every bit as real as the convenience store owner.

      1. Yes, like my Pascal instructor from college, whose Indian accent was so thick we spent the first three weeks of the class just figuring out how to understand what he was saying. Now, there was a stereotype!

    2. Apu would still be around in his current form, but there would now be a second Indian American character, who doesn’t conform to the stereotypes, so you’d get the full range of what Indian Americans are like.

      Really? And why is it the job of The Simpsons to “get the full range of what Indian Americans are like”?

      And are you going to apply the same standard to white males? Because, hate to break it to you, those white males on The Simpsons? Not representative of American white males. Neither are the French, Germans, or other ethnic groups.

      And what the f*ck did Americans ever do to Indians? Indian-Americans are the richest of all ethnic groups; what kind of oppression or discrimination are they suffering?

  67. “Problematic”?

    I thought he was SUPPOSED TO BE a freaking stereotype!

    Have we now reached the point where even the stereotypes aren’t allowed to be stereotypical?

  68. I can’t even watch The Simpsons anymore. They speak English and there’s no subtitles.

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  70. Hari Kondabolu, the film’s star, is a Simpsons fan who grew up being thankful for Apu’s existence but has come to view the character as extremely problematic.

    What I think this world needs more of is a closer examination of things we enjoy to see if we can find ways to be offended by them. Particularly in cartoons.

  71. Hari Kondabolu, the film’s star, is a Simpsons fan who grew up being thankful for Apu’s existence but has come to view the character as extremely problematic

    Indian-Americans are the highest earning ethnic group in the US, and this guy still keeps whining and complaining?

    Perhaps instead of stereotypes, the Simpsons should reflect actual statistics.

  72. Every person on the Simpsons is pretty much a caricature of there class of person. Homer is a stupid lazy blue collar worker. Ned is a naive evangelical, the boss is a caricature of the evil capitalist, etc. Apu is just another caricature. The Simpsons is about making fun of the caricatures. Indians should not be excepted.

    1. I agree. Simpsons has always done cutting edge comedy. They make fun of everything equally.

      Do not want to link but check out Gabriel Iglesias doing a bit about two Indian guys trying to rob a bank. Or Dave Chappell on race who is one of the greats.

      Classic comedy.

      Looney Tunes if you want to do cartoon, would and is pretty much banned today.

      The jester gets a pass if you laugh.

      Simpsons. Appu is functional, more so than Homer, the only Jew is Krusty the Clown, the minister is useless, the major African American is the doctor who is only semi decent but not very smart, it is just a comedy and has had some great moments over the years.

      Much ado about nothing.

  73. Better hurry up and finish this discussion. Indians break into a song and dance routine at the top of every hour.

  74. Jadi, buatlah Apu seorang programmer biasa yang bekerja 9-5 di sebuah bilik untuk beberapa perusahaan beige di taman kantor Springfield. Setiap malam dia pulang ke rumah untuk istrinya yang terganggu dan istri mereka yang lebih terganggu, yang tidak begitu menyukai sekolah tetapi tidak memiliki inisiatif untuk memberontak. Mereka menonton banyak TV, tetapi tidak ada yang tegang.

  75. I’m surprised they didn’t scream racism when “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” was released. Even though the actors themselves are Hindi.

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