Simpsons fans' anger after show brushes off Apu stereotype row

Apu in The Simpsons (Credit: Fox)
Apu in The Simpsons (Credit: Fox)

The makers of The Simpsons have finally broached the simmering debate over accusations that Kwik-E-Mart franchisee Apu in the show is an offensive stereotype.

However, it’s unlikely to satisfy critics of Apu’s portrayal, and many fans of the show are furious about it.

In last night’s episode of the long-running cartoon series, it appeared to simply characterise any criticism of the character as ‘political correctness’.

(Credit: Fox)
(Credit: Fox)

The episode, called ‘No Good Read Goes Unpunished’, found Marge editing a version of a book called The Princess in the Garden to make it more appropriate for a modern audience.

However, after reading the much-abridged story to Lisa, it’s decided that it now has no ’emotional journey’ for the central character.

Lisa, looking at a picture of Apu at her bedside, then says to Marge: “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”

Across the picture is the none-too-subtle message ‘Don’t have a cow, Apu’.

Many took to Twitter to slam the show for the apparent brush off, among them US comedian Hari Kondabolu, who last year fronted the documentary The Problem With Apu (Check the trailer below), in which he detailed how the stereotypes peddled by the show through Apu could be considered offensive.

It featured actors and comedians like Master of None’s Aziz Ansari, and actor and former White House official Kal Penn.

Other fans – and some former fans – followed suit.

Not all agree with the outpouring, of course, one fan suggesting that Apu’s character is a skit on Indian stereotypes, and not a stereotype itself, though whether that will convince anyone with their minds already made up is perhaps unlikely.

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