Liberals crying racism over “The Simpsons” character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon might soon see some big changes to the beloved American sitcom.
Voice actor Hank Azaria, the man behind Apu as well as other characters on the show, told a reporter at TMZ that he and others at “The Simpsons” are “thinking about” making altercations in light of all the recent criticism.
Most of the outrage stems from a recent 50-minute-long TruTV documentary “The Problem With Apu,” where comedian Hari Kondabolu claims Apu’s character helped solidify negative stereotypes against Indian-Americans.
“The documentary made some really interesting points,” Azaria told TMZ, “and it gave us a lot at ‘The Simpsons’ to think about … it’s really upsetting that that was offensive or hurtful to anybody.”
Azaria’s response wasn’t sufficient to Kondabolu, who shot off a number of expletive-filled tweets on Monday. The problem with Apu, according to the filmmaker, is that he is not able “to speak for” himself or “share [his] own truth.” Kondabolu has not called for Azaria to resign from the show, but instead wishes the character of Apu, a relatively minor figure in the “Simpsons” universe, receive a more sophisticated backstory.
Along with his tweets, Kondabolu also sent a recorded video to TMZ where he says in his perfect world Apu would not merely own the local fictional Kwik-E-Mart, but serve as CEO of the fictional convenience store chain.
The nearly 28-year-old show has a long history of lampooning various stereotypes beyond Indian-Americans. One episode entitled “The Stereotypes,” features a bowling team made up of an Italian pizza chef named Luigi Risotto, Scottish school janitor Groundskeeper Willie, American southerner Cletus Spuckler, and a British sailor Horatio McCallister.
Azaria, a white man, has no business voicing an Indian character, according to some liberal critics.
One writer at the Huffington Post declared Apu’s character “problematic” and decried the “lack of South Asian representation in American media,” comparing Apu to 19th and 20th century minstrel shows. “The Simpsons” is an animated television program.
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