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Simpsons writers address Apu controversy

The Simpsons writers have responded to criticism over the show's portrayal of Indian store owner Apu.
Sunday's episode addressed claims by Indian-American comic Hari Kondabolu, whose 2017 documentary The Problem With Apu suggested the character was founded on racial stereotypes.
Despite tackling the claims, the writers came under fire from Kondabolu and other critics for appearing to brush off the furore.But others on Twitter backed the writers, saying the controversy was a "non-issue."The latest airing of The Simpsons featured Marge reading her favourite childhood book to her daughter Lisa.Marge realises the story is more racist and offensive than she remembered and tries to edit it as she reads.Lisa replies: "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect."What can you do?"
#TheSimpsons completely toothless response to @harikondabolu #TheProblemWithApu about the racist character Apu:

"Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect... What can you do?" pic.twitter.com/Bj7qE2FXWN— Soham (@soham_burger) April 9, 2018
A photo of Apu appears and Marge says: "Some things will be dealt with at a later date."Lisa adds: "If at all."Mr Kondabolu replied on Twitter: "The Simpsons response tonight is not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress".He earlier tweeted: "Man, I really loved this show.
"This is sad."
In “The Problem with Apu,” I used Apu & The Simpsons as an entry point into a larger conversation about the representation of marginalized groups & why this is important. The Simpsons response tonight is not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress.— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) April 9, 2018
Wow. “Politically Incorrect?” That’s the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad. https://t.co/lYFH5LguEJ— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) April 9, 2018
Stand-up comic Wakanda Kamau Bell also criticised the show's stance.He wrote: "I think the fact that they put this 'argument' in the mouth of Lisa's the character, the character who champions the underdogs and is supposed to be the most thoughtful and liberal, is what make this the most ridiculous (as in worthy of ridicule) and toothless response."Other social media users took the side of The Simpsons writers and branded the racial stereotyping controversy a "non issue".Vikram662 wrote: "Loved how you guys handled this non-issue. People just want to cry about everything nowadays b/c it makes them feel like they're doing something. Don't ever change!"Henry Smith Higgins wrote: "Every character is a stereotype. Homer is an overweight, beer-drinking, dumb American, Marge is a housewife, Bart is a stereotypical boy, Lisa is a stereotypical girl, Mr Burns is a white, old, money obsessed CEO, Chief Wiggum is an overweight, donut-eating lazy cop."
And to have Lisa deliver the line... they are so unwilling to be in the wrong that they used the character who is least likely to say something like that.— Miranda George (@MirandaGeorge) April 9, 2018
Loved how you guys handled this non-issue. People just want to cry about everything nowadays b/c it makes them feel like they’re doing something.

Don’t ever change!

Oh and I’m Indian and according to Twitter my opinion matters more on this topic, ?.#ILoveApu #DontHaveACowMan— Vikram (@Vikram662) April 9, 2018
Mr Kondabolu said in 2017 that Apu is problematic because he is defined by his job and is in an arranged marriage.In his documentary he said Apu was one of the only representations of South East Asians on US television when he was younger, and that other children imitated the Kwik-E-Mart owner to make fun of him.
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Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has been a part of the comedy series since 1990 and is voiced by white actor Hank Azaria, who mimics a strong Indian accent when playing the role.Azaria told reporters at the Television Critics Associations press tour in January: "The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased or worse based on the character of Apu on The Simpsons, the voice or any other tropes of the character is distressing."
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