Apu might be dropped from The Simpsons

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Daikun

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#1
https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/celebr...de-from-apu-in-wake-of-controversy/ar-AAwiTOZ

Hank Azaria is speaking out about the Apu controversy — and he’s even willing to lose his voice over it.

One of the many characters that The Simpsons star voices is the Kwik-E-Mart owner, who was the subject of Hari Kondabolu’s recent TruTV documentary, The Problem With Apu, which asserts that Apu is a harmful stereotype of South Asian people. The Simpsons briefly addressed the issue in its April 8 episode, which involved an old book that Marge edited for Lisa to make it acceptable for current times. Switching from discussing the book to Apu, Lisa turned to the camera and said, “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” While she delivered that last line, she looked at a picture of Apu that included Bart’s catchphrase, “Don’t have a cow!” Marge then said, “Some things will be dealt with at a later date,” to which Lisa added: “If it all.”

After the episode aired, social media filled up with reactions across the spectrum. Some were disappointed and hurt by the show’s shrugging dismissal of the issue, and couldn’t believe that the writers would have Lisa — The Simpsons‘ most progressive and sensitive character — voicing such a sentiment. Others bit back at the reaction and the controversy as a whole, calling it another example of political correctness run amok.

Simpsons showrunner Al Jean declined to comment on the controversy, only to say the next day that the episode “speaks for itself,” before tweeting later in the week: “I truly appreciate all responses pro and con. Will continue to try to find an answer that is popular & more important right.”

Appearing on The Late Show to promote season 2 of his IFC comedy Brockmire, Azaria stressed to host Stephen Colbert that he was not involved in the decision making or execution of that scene.“I had nothing to do with the writing or voicing,” he said. “Apu doesn’t speak in that segment. It was a late addition that I saw right around the same time that everybody else in America did. So I didn’t know it was going to be in it until I saw it. I think that if anybody came away from that segment feeling that they should lighten up or take a joke better or grow a thicker skin or toughen up — yeah, that’s certainly not the way I feel about it. And that’s definitely not the message that I want to send.”

Asked by Colbert what should happen with this now-charged character moving forward, Azaria offered a few solutions while pushing for inclusion in the writers’ room. “I’ve given this a lot of thought — really a lot of thought — and, as I say, my eyes have been opened,” he said. “And I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country, when they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it has been… Listening to voices means inclusion in the writers’ room. I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers’ room, not in a token way, but genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take, including how it is voiced or not voiced.”

He followed that up by volunteering to stop voicing the character — or taking part in some sort of character evolution. “I’m perfectly willing and happy to step aside — or help transition it into something new,” he said. “I really hope that’s what The Simpsons does. It not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do, to me.”
 

jaylop97

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#3
I didn't notice the Apu documentary until after the episode featuring that scene was aired. Whatever The Simpsons staff do about the situation it could go either way but if Hank is willing to step down I doubt they will be able to keep Apu around afterward, unless of course they get a new Voice Actor but rarely that ever happens.
 

Dudley

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#4
It's funny, before that documentary, nobody seemed to care one way or the other about Apu.
According to what I heard in the news covering the issue, Indian kids were teased and being compared to the character.

In my honest opinion, I don’t have a problem with Apu. I feel they’ve fleshed house him out over the years to be more than just an Indian with a thick accent working at a convenience store.
But in terms of handling the character, giving him an overhaul (in whatever way that could end up being) would seem too obvious of a move to quell the controversy. I think it’ll be best to phase him off as quietly as possible.
And by that I mean, reduced to non-speaking cameo appearances, probably avoid having him appear at the Kwik-E-Mart. If they can manage to avoid showing who teaches Bart’s class now, then surely can accomplish that.


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Fone Bone

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#5
I hate the character and find him offensive. The best thing they can do is kill him off or have him move away. Somebody else can run the Kwik-E-Mart.
It's funny, before that documentary, nobody seemed to care one way or the other about Apu.
That's actually not true. A more accurate statement is "No white people seemed to care one way or the other about Apu."
 

Gear3dGryph0n

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#6
I saw the documentary, it was quite a bit one-sided but made some interesting points. One interesting observation I made; if you notice, almost all of the Indian-Americans in the documentary are entertainers who are trying as hard as they can to break common stereotypes, and really are going through the same struggle other minorities had to go through. But if you go onto the Internet, most working-class Indian-Americans, including the archetypical convenience store owners, range from liking the character to not seeing him any differently from any other Simpsons character. If anything, the only thing they agree upon is that the voice is grating. If there's any concession, at least having a VA that knows more about what they're doing makes sense.

But for the time being, it's best to treat Apu no differently from any other Simpsons character as far as the majority opinion goes. As long as they have material that works, keep him around. If he stops delivering or becomes too much of a liability for the show, then they can start talking about change.
 

Atoon

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#8
I'm skeptical that they're really going to do something to be in line with current sensibilities. For a while now, both the Simpsons and Family Guy have made many clickbait announcements but in practice just end trolling the audience (The contest for the new character that they ended up killing in 5 seconds, the established "character" that was going to die, yet it was rather irrelevant; the divorce episode that end with non-sense; killing Brian in Family Guy only to revive it two episodes later, and so on). Kind of "pissing of all possible audience" instead of "propossing new stuff that people may eventually genuinely like".

Enviado desde mi LG-H870 mediante Tapatalk
 

ShadowBeast

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#10
I hope the character isn't dropped. I find the criticism towards the character to be nothing but PC-nonsense. The show is full of stereotypes anyway, so it's not like Apu is the only one. Apu hasn't even been in any major storylines in quite a while as well. We've gotten more Krusty episodes recently than Apu episodes. As for a white person voicing Apu, It's not like it isn't uncommon for a voice-actor to voice characters of different colors. Zuko from Avatar is voiced by a African-actor, and Cleveland from Family Guy is voiced by a white-guy. I certainly wouldn't have an issue of an indian voice actor voicing a character of a different race.
 

Fone Bone

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#11
I hope the character isn't dropped. I find the criticism towards the character to be nothing but PC-nonsense. The show is full of stereotypes anyway, so it's not like Apu is the only one. Apu hasn't even been in any major storylines in quite a while as well. We've gotten more Krusty episodes recently than Apu episodes. As for a white person voicing Apu, It's not like it isn't uncommon for a voice-actor to voice characters of different colors. Zuko from Avatar is voiced by a African-actor, and Cleveland from Family Guy is voiced by a white-guy. I certainly wouldn't have an issue of an indian voice actor voicing a character of a different race.
Political correctness is just another word for what my mama called "being polite". That should not be an unfathomable burden for anyone. If actual Indian people are really offended by Apu, he should be dropped. It's not like he's a good character anyways.
 

SweetShop209

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#12
I hope the character isn't dropped. I find the criticism towards the character to be nothing but PC-nonsense. The show is full of stereotypes anyway, so it's not like Apu is the only one. Apu hasn't even been in any major storylines in quite a while as well. We've gotten more Krusty episodes recently than Apu episodes. As for a white person voicing Apu, It's not like it isn't uncommon for a voice-actor to voice characters of different colors. Zuko from Avatar is voiced by a African-actor, and Cleveland from Family Guy is voiced by a white-guy. I certainly wouldn't have an issue of an indian voice actor voicing a character of a different race.
Actually, Dante Basco (voice of Zuko) is Filipino-American. The actor who played Zuko in the live action film (Dev Patel) is apparently English. Everything else you said is on point. Adding onto it, we have the titular Samurai Jack , a Japanese man, voiced by Phil LaMarr , an African American voice actor, and there's no controversy there. There should be no controversy here. I haven't seen the documentary, so I can't comment.
 

Fone Bone

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#13
Actually, Dante Basco (voice of Zuko) is Filipino-American. The actor who played Zuko in the live action film (Dev Patel) is apparently English. Everything else you said is on point. Adding onto it, we have the titular Samurai Jack , a Japanese man, voiced by Phil LaMarr , an African American voice actor, and there's no controversy there. There should be no controversy here. I haven't seen the documentary, so I can't comment.
The guy who made the documentary put it like this: "Apu sounds like the white guy who makes fun of my father." You can't get more personal than that.
 

ShadowBeast

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#14
Actually, Dante Basco (voice of Zuko) is Filipino-American
Huh, I thought I saw in a magazine that the voice-actor for Zuko was black? The magazine must've made a mistake :sweat:. Thanks for the correction.

Everything else you said is on point. Adding onto it, we have the titular Samurai Jack , a Japanese man, voiced by Phil LaMarr , an African American voice actor, and there's no controversy there. There should be no controversy here.
Exactly! People are making a big deal out of something that wasn't meant to offend, but to make funny.
 

ShadowBeast

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#17
It doesn't matter what the intent was, what matters is the effect that it had.

"I intended to shoot an apple off my son's head, buuuuuuut..."
And it took how many years before the effect started to offend? Apu has been around since 1990. The show has other stereotypes as well. So why should one race get special treatment over others? At least Apu, when given focus episodes is written with heart towards the character.
 
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Fone Bone

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#19
And it took how many years did the effect start to offend? Apu has around since 1990. The show has other stereotypes as well. So why should one race get special treatment over others? At least Apu, when given focus episodes is written with heart towards the character.
You thinking Indians get special treatment on television is part of the problem.

Here's the bottom line. Apu sucks. He's not funny and never has been. He's been one of the crappiest characters in the entire show (besides perhaps Moe) and I would think that without the Indian gimmick or accent. There is literally no downside to losing a character this unfunny and boring. If The Simpsons would be worse for it, I'd get the resistance. But Apu sucks and always has.
 

Nobodyman

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#20
And it took how many years did the effect start to offend? Apu has around since 1990.
Doesn't matter. Minstrel shows and WWII Japanese caricatures were deemed inoffensive (or at least acceptable) at the time they were made.

The show has other stereotypes as well. So why should one race get special treatment over others?
Because Apu is essentially the most iconic and recognizable Indian character in American pop culture. Technically, that's not really The Simpsons' fault, but Apu has become kind of the go-to Indian in the mind of many Americans. That and because The Simpsons decided to (poorly) respond to The Problem with Apu documentary.

Anyway, for more insight on this topic, I recommend a series of videos MovieBob has made on the subject. The first two parts are up with part three to come soon.

 

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