‘The Simpsons’ Addresses Apu Controversy; Hari Kondabolu Not Amused

Apu The Simpsons

Sunday night’s episode of Fox’s The Simpsons addressed the controversy about the show’s Indian-American character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who some have blasted as a negative stereotype.

On Sunday’s episode, Marge Simpson reads a book to daughter Lisa, prompting Lisa to remark the “cisgender girl” heroine is “already evolved,” “doesn’t really have an emotional journey to complete,” leaving the book with “no point.”

Marge counters, “Well, what am I supposed to do?”

“It’s hard to say,” Lisa responds. “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”

In case any viewer did not get the point, Lisa turned and looked at a framed photograph of Apu – who operates the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store in Springfield and is voiced by Hank Azaria. The photo is inscribed with the message, “Don’t have a cow.”

“Some things will be dealt with at a later date,” Marge assures Lisa.

“If at all,” Lisa says, as she and her mom turn to face the camera.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu, whose documentary The Problem with Apu trigged a lot of talk on the topic when it debuted last November, tweeted his review of Sunday’s Simpsons episode:
“TO THE JOURNALISTS WHO HAVE ASKED ME FOR A PUBLIC STATEMENT ABOUT LAST NIGHT’S SIMPSONS EPISODE, I JUST WANT TO SAY: ‘Congratulations to the Simpsons for being talked about & being seen as relevant again.”

He had already spent a busy several hours tweeting variously about the episode, and the “don’t have a cow” inscription on the photo:

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

“Et tu, Lisa?”

“Clever…because he’s Hindu. They double-downed on white.”


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

TruTV described Kondabolu and his documentary thusly:

“Comedian Hari Kondabolu, the creator and star of this feature-length documentary, confronts his long standing ‘nemesis’ Apu Nahasapeemapetilon – better known as the Indian convenience store owner on The Simpsons. Through this comedic cultural exposé, Kondabolu questions how this controversial caricature was created, burrowed its way into the hearts and minds of Americans and continues to exist – intact – twenty-eight years later.”

Among Kondabolu’s tweets about Sunday’s The Simpsons:

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2018/04/the-simpsons-apu-stereotype-hari-kondabolu-blasts-hank-azario-1202360870/