Apu And The Act Of PC Fueled Compliance
You’ve probably heard the news.
The beloved Simpsons character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon may be dropped from the series.
The news of Apu’s probable dismissal came after a period of prolonged complaints about stereotyping South Asians and those complains intensified after last year’s documentary The Problem With Apu.
The news of the possible dismissal of the once beloved character were confirmed by the producer and filmmaker Adi Shankar, and they spread like fire among the fans of the show and especially among the fans of Apu. According to Shankar (in an interview for Indiewire) “multiple sources” told him that Apu would be quietly dropped in order to avoid further controversy, and I call that decision a desperate act of PC fueled compliance.
Has it come to this? Is this the only way?
Look, Apu is voiced by the amazing Hank Azaria, who has previously mentioned that he’ll be happy to step aside as the voice of Apu or to help transition the character into “something new,” calling it “the right thing to do, to me.”
Seriosly? What happened Simpsons? Why are you doing this now? And why for Apu precisely? Groundskeeper Willie is a stereotypical representation of the Scottish people but you don’t hear them complaining much? Fat Tony is an Italian mobster, hey even Homer Simpson is every lazy, drunken, unmotivated suburban American in America. Why is nobody whining about them?
I can’t believe that there are people who think that Apu’s portrayal on the long running animated show is racist. It’s NOT. It’s an exaggerated comedic stereotype of an ethnicity. Just like Homer is a fat dumb American in every god damn episode. The Simpsons writers should have said fuck it. You don’t like Apu’s portrayal? GOOD! Don’t watch it. But nooooo. They’re becoming something that they’ve gladly mocked 10-15 years ago. You know, when the show was good, edgy and when it had some heft.
The Simpsons is a show past his prime, and that’s the sad truth. Yes, it’s been on air for almost 30 years, but quality wise it’s not what it used to be. Once upon a time (somewhere in seasons 15 to 20) the show was good. No scratch that- it was excellent. It made you think. It made you laugh with good solid jokes. Today, not so much…. But trying to get back to those glory days by dropping a beloved character is not a good path to take.
And why was Apu so offensive that he had to be let go? He’s an immigrant, a vegetarian, business owner who made it in America, father to 8 children and a loving husband to his wife. Again, like so many others in America, and not just from Indian descent.
In conclusion, dropping Apu is a stupid mistake. It’s an act of PC fueled compliance that in time, will prove to be a huge mistake. Just wait.