The Problem With “The Problem With Apu”
The Simpsons recently released a clip responding to the controversy surrounding one of their main characters Apu. An Indian store clerk who is voiced by an white american voice over specialist and actor Hank Azaria. Hari Kondabolu a comedian of Indian decent, wrote and starred in a documentary film called “The Problem With Apu.” Noting the problem with this characters representation of Indian culture to the public. I completely agree with Hari, it is an over the top generalization of an Indian character voice by a white man. Which by all accounts in our current cultural climate is racist.
I believe it has and always will be a fun non malicious character for the creators of Simpson. Never have they had ill intent pushing forward characters that may be seen in a poor light. What are the Simpson to do with Apu now after thirty years of representation without backlash? If anything the problem lies in the general society that use the Apu name as a derogatory term. Those are the true racist. And since Simpsons is such a huge cultural phenomenon it’s the lowest hanging fruit for the ignorant and misinformed.
On the other side of this problem with Apu. I’m quite surprised this documentary has been brought forth by a comedian. The one art form that habitually crosses lines and pushes the boundary of all political correctness to expose not only our own insecurities but often times how ridiculous those insecurities play a role throughout our lives. Thank goodness for those comedians that shine a light on some of our darkest demons and make us laugh while doing it. There is an Indian comedian that his whole act is literally making fun of nearly every single culture and people love it. They’ll laugh hysterically at his over generalized conceptions of their cultures. This is absolutely no different then what the Simpsons do. Something we should never censor. It’s the right to free speech. Just like it’s the Simpsons right to create characters that may every so often offend some and Hari’s right to make a documentary about those who have been offended.
We’ll all say and write stuff that will offend another, and this will happen through out life. There is no avoiding that. That just the nature of the beast, everyone is an individual who is entitled to their own feelings and emotions, try to stay respectful of others, don’t do things with malicious intent. And if your trying to be funny, make sure it’s funny. Once it’s stops being funny maybe it’s time to move on.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read our post. If you like what you read, or even if you don’t, we would love to hear from you. Please join our email list here. Or if you want to comment on this article, or write your own in our Forum. Please sign in here and if you are new to the site you can register here. This website is not intended to be a blog. We want it to be a place to help others grow and learn from mistakes and the Forum is where that begins. Please tell us your stories.