NEW YORK – As of 2017, the creators of American animated comedy TV series “The Simpsons” have been receiving criticism for one of the characters in the show, ‘Apu Nahasapeemapetilon’, a convenience-store owner on with a thick Indian accent. The character has been voiced by Hank Azaria.
The criticism came to light when Hari Kondabolu, a comedian of South Asian descent made the documentary ‘The Problem with Apu’.
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
Kondabolu had said last year, “A white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father. Everything with Apu is like this running joke. And the running joke is that he’s Indian.”
“I think the documentary made some really interesting points and gave us a lot of things to think about and we really are thinking about it,” Mr. Azaria, the character behind the voice had told TMZ.
The show released an episode last week titled “No Good Read Goes Unpunished” in response to criticism of the show’s depiction of Apu, but it ended up getting more criticism in return. but it frustrated both critics and longtime fans alike.
One of the show’s original writers, Al Jean, took to twitter to respond to the show’s critics:
.@TheSimpsons I truly appreciate all responses pro and con. Will continue to try to find an answer that is popular & more important right
— Al Jean (@AlJean) April 13, 2018
In previous tweets, Al Jean had said:
.@TheSimpsons New Simpsons in five minutes. Twitter explosion in act three.
— Al Jean (@AlJean) April 8, 2018
He had also retweeted messages, calling the criticism of Apu a “non-issue.” Representatives for Fox, the show’s network, have declined to comment.