Simpsons creators respond to "The Problem with Apu"

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
#1 Edited by nintendoboy16 (34992 posts) -

Not too long ago, South-Asian American comedian Hari Kondabolu made a documentary called "The Problem with Apu", covering the impact of the show and how he feels certain people were affected by it, one of which being actor, Kal Penn, who openly admits to hating The Simpsons because of it.

He even recently did an interview with Trevor Noah talking about it.

The Simpsons then made a response to the documentary, as well as anyone with similar views on the character in it's most recent episode, the video I can only find on Twitter (which thankfully is in the link). Some called it a toothless response, others such as right wing figures (like Dave Rubin) defended it, despite the show's generally left leaning themes.

Me personally? Whole controversy is stupid. I see what Hari is going for, but this might be a bit late to the party. As for Matt Groening and co, it was a terrible response and may as well further justify the calls for the death of the show (which even the shows own fanbase can't decide whether they want it or not). It also feels like it's The Simpsons trying to be like it's edgier rivals, Family Guy and South Park (though it's not the first time, see "Mypods and Boomsticks").

What say you?

Avatar image for SOedipus
#2 Posted by SOedipus (11003 posts) -

The creators didn't handle the criticism well. They should have just told those whiners to **** off or ignore them. Also, Dave Rubin right-wing? lol!

Avatar image for deactivated-5b19214ec908b
#3 Posted by deactivated-5b19214ec908b (25072 posts) -

What a terrible way to respond to constructive criticism.

Apu is not a perfectly written character, the show has many flaws and obviously people are going to call it out for them.

Avatar image for Nuck81
#4 Posted by Nuck81 (7007 posts) -

Every Character is a parody or spoof on a stereotype.

Should we be offended by how Homer portrays the average american White male? Or how Wiggum portrays cops?

Avatar image for deactivated-5b1e62582e305
#5 Posted by deactivated-5b1e62582e305 (30778 posts) -

@Nuck81 said:

Every Character is a parody or spoof on a stereotype.

Should we be offended by how Homer portrays the average american White male? Or how Wiggum portrays cops?

Not really the same thing. You’d have a point if Homer or Wiggum were the only representations of white Americans in the media. The documentary made a point that Apu was the only representation of Indian Americans for a long time and Indian actors were pigeon holed and affected by that. Plus the fact that he’s voiced by a white dude.

Anyway, what a terrible response. They should have just not said anything and ignored it. Instead they made Lisa say it, a character that by all evidence would have agreed with Kondabalou. What crap has this show become.

Avatar image for kittennose
#6 Posted by KittenNose (2456 posts) -

When I used the "waving it's selfie stick at the entertainment industry" analogy I didn't expect folk to double down on it so aggressively. The Simpsons pushed for acceptance back when the democratic party was legislating against it. This is down right silly, particularly on a political forum.

@perfect_blue: There is a very basic problem with your assertion. Anyone included in the show was a caricature. That means the show had two options: a) Represent Indian Americans with a caricature, the way they did for everyone else. b) Exclude them. The fact that the Simpsons was the first show to include them is a really silly reason to go off on them for choosing A.

Also: When you got called out for leveling slurs at transwomen you felt were overstepping their 'place' by challenging patricians, you didn't react with this much class. Say what you want about the Simpsons, but they didn't accuse Apu of being uppity while insulting him because he challenged some old white dude. Maybe check your double standard, particularly when it comes to political correctness.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b1e62582e305
#7 Posted by deactivated-5b1e62582e305 (30778 posts) -

@kittennose said:

When I used the "waving it's selfie stick at the entertainment industry" analogy I didn't expect folk to double down on it so aggressively. The Simpsons pushed for acceptance back when the democratic party was legislating against it. This is down right silly, particularly on a political forum.

@perfect_blue: There is a very basic problem with your assertion. Anyone included in the show was a caricature. That means the show had two options: a) Represent Indian Americans with a caricature, the way they did for everyone else. b) Exclude them. The fact that the Simpsons was the first show to include them is a really silly reason to go off on them for choosing A.

Also: When you got called out for leveling slurs at transwomen you felt were overstepping their 'place' by challenging patricians, you didn't react with this much class. Say what you want about the Simpsons, but they didn't accuse Apu of being uppity while insulting him because he challenged some old white dude. Maybe check your double standard, particularly when it comes to political correctness.

*yawn*, your shtick is so pedantic so I'll just leave you with this: I suggest you watch the documentary yourself that started this for some context.

Avatar image for feminist9000
#8 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

The Simpsons marginalizes pretty much everyone on their show. The yellow characters actually represent the white suppression these writers portray.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#9 Posted by LJS9502_basic (164221 posts) -

@perfect_blue said:
@Nuck81 said:

Every Character is a parody or spoof on a stereotype.

Should we be offended by how Homer portrays the average american White male? Or how Wiggum portrays cops?

Not really the same thing. You’d have a point if Homer or Wiggum were the only representations of white Americans in the media. The documentary made a point that Apu was the only representation of Indian Americans for a long time and Indian actors were pigeon holed and affected by that. Plus the fact that he’s voiced by a white dude.

Anyway, what a terrible response. They should have just not said anything and ignored it. Instead they made Lisa say it, a character that by all evidence would have agreed with Kondabalou. What crap has this show become.

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

Avatar image for vfighter
#10 Posted by VFighter (3499 posts) -

Wow, I don't even know what to say to something this stupid?

Avatar image for feminist9000
#11 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:
@perfect_blue said:
@Nuck81 said:

Every Character is a parody or spoof on a stereotype.

Should we be offended by how Homer portrays the average american White male? Or how Wiggum portrays cops?

Not really the same thing. You’d have a point if Homer or Wiggum were the only representations of white Americans in the media. The documentary made a point that Apu was the only representation of Indian Americans for a long time and Indian actors were pigeon holed and affected by that. Plus the fact that he’s voiced by a white dude.

Anyway, what a terrible response. They should have just not said anything and ignored it. Instead they made Lisa say it, a character that by all evidence would have agreed with Kondabalou. What crap has this show become.

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

You're defending misogyny, institutionalized racism, marginalization of genders?

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#12 Posted by LJS9502_basic (164221 posts) -

@feminist9000 said:
@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

You're defending misogyny, institutionalized racism, marginalization of genders?

I'm not defending anything. It's a damn tv show. No one needs watch it. Freedom of speech I will not deny. Stop watching and it will go away. But stop the whining.

Avatar image for feminist9000
#13 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:
@feminist9000 said:
@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

You're defending misogyny, institutionalized racism, marginalization of genders?

I'm not defending anything. It's a damn tv show. No one needs watch it. Freedom of speech I will not deny. Stop watching and it will go away. But stop the whining.

You say stop the whining, I see stop the fight. It sounds like you believe in nothing unless it's convenient for you to. I'm guessing you're for the keystone pipeline.

Avatar image for kittennose
#14 Edited by KittenNose (2456 posts) -
@perfect_blue said:

*yawn*, your shtick is so pedantic so I'll just leave you with this: I suggest you watch the documentary yourself that started this for some context.

That is hilariously hypocritical given the context. Double standards must be your thing.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b1e62582e305
#15 Posted by deactivated-5b1e62582e305 (30778 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

I don't think there's a problem with the character himself, except perhaps for the accent which is very clearly fake and made up. It's the wider context that Apu exists in which has pigeon holed Indian American comedians and actors. I strongly suggest watching the documentary that started this because it explains the issues with the character better than I could.

Avatar image for vfighter
#16 Posted by VFighter (3499 posts) -

@feminist9000: Holy crap are there any non alt/troll accounts left on this site?!?

Avatar image for feminist9000
#17 Edited by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@perfect_blue said:
@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

I don't think there's a problem with the character himself, except perhaps for the accent which is very clearly fake and made up. It's the wider context that Apu exists in which has pigeon holed Indian American comedians and actors. I strongly suggest watching the documentary that started this because it explains the issues with the character better than I could.

There is a problem with the character because he was created by men, naturally. It represents all the indian stereotype yet the heterosexual white males are perceived as alpha males mansplaining and manspreading every chance they get.

Bart Simpson is a complete Chad, yet APU is a beta virgin, portrayed by the show.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#18 Posted by LJS9502_basic (164221 posts) -

@perfect_blue said:
@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

I don't think there's a problem with the character himself, except perhaps for the accent which is very clearly fake and made up. It's the wider context that Apu exists in which has pigeon holed Indian American comedians and actors. I strongly suggest watching the documentary that started this because it explains the issues with the character better than I could.

You know if the problem is Hollywood and portrayals of specific minorities.............that's fine. But I'm not going to pick the Simpson's show as an example. The correct way to address this problem is to compare and contrast within the same medium. But a cartoon show making fun of every group is not the example and as such I cannot take this seriously.

Avatar image for feminist9000
#19 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:
@perfect_blue said:
@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

I don't think there's a problem with the character himself, except perhaps for the accent which is very clearly fake and made up. It's the wider context that Apu exists in which has pigeon holed Indian American comedians and actors. I strongly suggest watching the documentary that started this because it explains the issues with the character better than I could.

You know if the problem is Hollywood and portrayals of specific minorities.............that's fine. But I'm not going to pick the Simpson's show as an example. The correct way to address this problem is to compare and contrast within the same medium. But a cartoon show making fun of every group is not the example and as such I cannot take this seriously.

How do they make fun of Chadspreaders?

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#20 Edited by LJS9502_basic (164221 posts) -

@feminist9000 said:
@perfect_blue said:
@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

I don't think there's a problem with the character himself, except perhaps for the accent which is very clearly fake and made up. It's the wider context that Apu exists in which has pigeon holed Indian American comedians and actors. I strongly suggest watching the documentary that started this because it explains the issues with the character better than I could.

There is a problem with the character because he was created by men, naturally. It represents all the indian stereotype yet the heterosexual white males are perceived as alpha males mansplaining and manspreading every chance they get.

Bart Simpson is a complete Chad, yet APU is a beta virgin, portrayed by the show.

The Simpson's are NOT a serious show. Also within every ethnic group there are people of ALL variety. Or are you saying virgin Indians do not exist? That would be racist as well.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#21 Posted by uninspiredcup (27210 posts) -

@vfighter said:

@feminist9000: Holy crap are there any non alt/troll accounts left on this site?!?

Exactly what I was thinking.

Avatar image for vfighter
#22 Edited by VFighter (3499 posts) -

@feminist9000: Jackamomo nice alt lol, ah you trolls make this stuff to easy.

Avatar image for lagalag024
#23 Posted by lagalag024 (6 posts) -

NEBRE

Avatar image for feminist9000
#24 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:
@feminist9000 said:
@perfect_blue said:
@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

I don't think there's a problem with the character himself, except perhaps for the accent which is very clearly fake and made up. It's the wider context that Apu exists in which has pigeon holed Indian American comedians and actors. I strongly suggest watching the documentary that started this because it explains the issues with the character better than I could.

There is a problem with the character because he was created by men, naturally. It represents all the indian stereotype yet the heterosexual white males are perceived as alpha males mansplaining and manspreading every chance they get.

Bart Simpson is a complete Chad, yet APU is a beta virgin, portrayed by the show.

The Simpson's are NOT a serious show. Also within every ethnic group there are people of ALL variety. Or are you saying virgin Indians do not exist? That would be racist as well.

That is my point. The show is only portraying one aspect of the vibrant culture. All the white males are complete Chads, and mansplain everything.

Avatar image for n64dd
#25 Posted by N64DD (10227 posts) -

@vfighter: god help us

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#26 Posted by LJS9502_basic (164221 posts) -

@feminist9000 said:
@LJS9502_basic said:
@feminist9000 said:

There is a problem with the character because he was created by men, naturally. It represents all the indian stereotype yet the heterosexual white males are perceived as alpha males mansplaining and manspreading every chance they get.

Bart Simpson is a complete Chad, yet APU is a beta virgin, portrayed by the show.

The Simpson's are NOT a serious show. Also within every ethnic group there are people of ALL variety. Or are you saying virgin Indians do not exist? That would be racist as well.

That is my point. The show is only portraying one aspect of the vibrant culture. All the white males are complete Chads, and mansplain everything.

The show is NOT portraying any character as fantastic........so stop picking one and whining. Also whose alt are you?

Avatar image for feminist9000
#27 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@vfighter said:

@feminist9000: Jackamomo nice alt lol, ah you trolls make this stuff to easy.

I'm not alt right.

Avatar image for kittennose
#28 Posted by KittenNose (2456 posts) -

@perfect_blue said:
@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

I don't think there's a problem with the character himself, except perhaps for the accent which is very clearly fake and made up. It's the wider context that Apu exists in which has pigeon holed Indian American comedians and actors. I strongly suggest watching the documentary that started this because it explains the issues with the character better than I could.

Perhaps you could start by explaining why the Simpsons is responsible for the fact that the rest of the media didn't portray Indian Americans at all. That is the doofiest part of your assertion. If you add clarity, folks might see your point.

Without such an explanation it seem like it is a problem with the media, not Apu.

Avatar image for feminist9000
#29 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@kittennose said:
@perfect_blue said:
@LJS9502_basic said:

Nah. None of the characters in that show are represented as model characters. Therefore no special treatment......we want equality right? Also what other shows do has no bearing on the Simpsons. And I don't even watch that show but come on. No double standards.

I don't think there's a problem with the character himself, except perhaps for the accent which is very clearly fake and made up. It's the wider context that Apu exists in which has pigeon holed Indian American comedians and actors. I strongly suggest watching the documentary that started this because it explains the issues with the character better than I could.

Perhaps you could start by explaining why the Simpsons is responsible for the fact that the rest of the media didn't portray Indian Americans at all. That is the doofiest part of your assertion. If you add clarity, folks might see your point.

Without such an explanation it seem like it is a problem with the media, not Apu.

So you support the marginalization of all Indian people for entertaintment?

Avatar image for jackamomo
#30 Posted by Jackamomo (614 posts) -

Apu's character is racist.

His accent is so broad but that does go for all the characters. They are all massive caricatures. For a racist (poor) white stereotype you have Cletus and rich in Mr Burns. Homosexuality is treated really well and not derigitorily (but hilariously) with Smithers.

The most racist scene is when Apu and his brother do some kind of weird clapping dance to depict some kind of Hindu ritual which looks primitive and is kind of derogatory to Hinduism.

But then they made him a computer technician when homer messed up all his hole punched cards (from the first computers) in the store room.

So The Simpsons is a weird one. It's kind of having a go at everyone but at the same time does fall back on negative stereotypes for cheap laughs.

The real issue is why anyone even cares about this as I haven't watched it for about the last 10 years as it's just not edgy or funny any more.

Avatar image for vfighter
#31 Posted by VFighter (3499 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic: He's Jackamomo's alt, time to ignore the troll/alt.

Avatar image for feminist9000
#32 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:
@feminist9000 said:
@LJS9502_basic said:
@feminist9000 said:

There is a problem with the character because he was created by men, naturally. It represents all the indian stereotype yet the heterosexual white males are perceived as alpha males mansplaining and manspreading every chance they get.

Bart Simpson is a complete Chad, yet APU is a beta virgin, portrayed by the show.

The Simpson's are NOT a serious show. Also within every ethnic group there are people of ALL variety. Or are you saying virgin Indians do not exist? That would be racist as well.

That is my point. The show is only portraying one aspect of the vibrant culture. All the white males are complete Chads, and mansplain everything.

The show is NOT portraying any character as fantastic........so stop picking one and whining. Also whose alt are you?

I'm not Alt right.

Avatar image for kittennose
#33 Posted by KittenNose (2456 posts) -
@vfighter said:

@LJS9502_basic: He's Jackamomo's alt, time to ignore the troll/alt.

I ask because my money is on Tryit.

How do you figure?

Avatar image for feminist9000
#34 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@kittennose said:
@vfighter said:

@LJS9502_basic: He's Jackamomo's alt, time to ignore the troll/alt.

I ask because my money is on Tryit.

How do you figure?

Not an Alt Right.

Avatar image for vfighter
#35 Posted by VFighter (3499 posts) -

@kittennose: That's honestly not a bad guess. I'm leaning towards Jackamomo because I just called him out yesterday for trolling and being an alt and all of a sudden today another alt appears with his same style of trolling and nonsense.

Avatar image for feminist9000
#36 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@vfighter said:

@kittennose: That's honestly not a bad guess. I'm leaning towards Jackamomo because I just called him out yesterday for trolling and being an alt and all of a sudden today another alt appears with his same style of trolling and nonsense.

Do you feel threatened with confronted with real problems in this world, to the point where you redirect all of your microaggressions into the form of calling people "alts"?

Avatar image for kittennose
#37 Edited by KittenNose (2456 posts) -

@vfighter: Ahh okay. Well thank you for the information and good luck in the pool!

@feminist9000 All I can think about when you post is the "It is over nine thousand!?!" meme. You are however not over nine thousand. That is an obvious let down, which is a clear reference to a known hate symbol.

If your alt right reference was unintentional, please consider retiring the account. Perhaps start fresh with 9001.

Avatar image for n64dd
#38 Posted by N64DD (10227 posts) -

@kittennose: joebones and tryit are both alts. I am guessing perfectblue

Avatar image for feminist9000
#39 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@kittennose said:

@vfighter: Ahh okay. Well thank you for the information and good luck in the pool!

@feminist9000 All I can think about when you post is the "It is over nine thousand!?!" meme. You are however not over nine thousand. That is an obvious let down, which is a clear reference to a known hate symbol.

If your alt right reference was unintentional, please consider retiring the account. Perhaps start fresh with 9001'

9000 females strong in my feminist group I belong to. Your frog cartoon is cute.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b1e62582e305
#40 Posted by deactivated-5b1e62582e305 (30778 posts) -

@n64dd said:

joebones and tryit are both alts. I am guessing perfectblue

Haha, you wish. If I had an alt it would be way more sophisticated than that poster.

What if Feminist9000 is your alt?

Avatar image for kittennose
#41 Posted by KittenNose (2456 posts) -

@n64dd: That seems unfair to me. If Blue was so inclined, which seems unlikely, they would do a better job then Tryit.

Avatar image for n64dd
#42 Posted by N64DD (10227 posts) -

@perfect_blue: I already waste enough time on this site. You seem guilty though, maybe ut’s jacunaks?

Avatar image for feminist9000
#43 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@kittennose said:

@n64dd: That seems unfair to me. If Blue was so inclined, which seems unlikely, they would do a better job then Tryit.

Why are your cats eyes purple?

Avatar image for deactivated-5b1e62582e305
#44 Posted by deactivated-5b1e62582e305 (30778 posts) -

@n64dd said:

@perfect_blue: I already waste enough time on this site. You seem guilty though, maybe ut’s jacunaks?

Feminist9000's spelling and grammar is too good to be Jacanuk. If they are an alt they probably aren't a regular or it's someone who is already banned.

Avatar image for kittennose
#45 Posted by KittenNose (2456 posts) -

@feminist9000: Knew it, alt right confirmed.

@n64dd: Last I was informed, I was jacunak's alt.

Avatar image for n64dd
#46 Posted by N64DD (10227 posts) -

@kittennose: Nah, both well too composed.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#47 Posted by LJS9502_basic (164221 posts) -

@n64dd said:

@kittennose: joebones and tryit are both alts. I am guessing perfectblue

I doubt he would post that way even if he had an alt.....he seems intelligent. This alt hasn't displayed that.

Avatar image for feminist9000
#48 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:
@n64dd said:

@kittennose: joebones and tryit are both alts. I am guessing perfectblue

I doubt he would post that way even if he had an alt.....he seems intelligent. This alt hasn't displayed that.

So women aren't intelligent? You must be a Republican.

Avatar image for zaryia
#49 Edited by Zaryia (4860 posts) -

I wanna say "who cares" and that it is just a show.

But the problem is as an Indian American I've been insulted by being called Apu and had his fake accent thrown at me even though I myself have no accent. This happened for nearly the entire decade that show was popular and relevant....

Of course this didn't upset me because I typically was a lot smarter and attractive than those bandwagoning pricks...but it still was annoying.

Avatar image for feminist9000
#50 Posted by Feminist9000 (31 posts) -

@zaryia said:

I wanna say "who cares" and that it is just a show.

But the problem is as an Indian American I've been insulted by being called Apu and had his fake accent thrown at me even though I myself have no accent. For nearly the entire decade that show was popular and relevant....

Of course this didn't upset me because I typically was a lot smarter and attractive than those bandwagoning pricks...but it still was annoying.

Hard to say it had zero real life negative impact.

I guess you don't care about racial equality, Chad.