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Simpsons producer sparks further outrage over response to the Apu debate

Indy 100 logoIndy 100 14/04/2018 Greg Evans
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The Simpsons have found itself at the centre of a heated debate this week after it offered a meek response to criticism surrounding one of its characters.

Last year a documentary called The Problem With Apu saw comedian Hari Kondabolu criticise the depiction of the supermarket clerk Apu Nahasapeemapetilon who has always been portrayed as a stereotypical Indian man and is voiced by the white actor Hank Azaria.

Hank Azaria arrives at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) © AP Hank Azaria arrives at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Since then the debate around the characters problematic depiction has been rumbling on until The Simpsons writers themselves decided to address it in their most recent episode entitled No Good Read Goes Unpunished.

In the episode, Lisa takes offence to a book that Marge recommends to her as it contains a lot of outdated terms, especially in 2018. Marge then decides to rewrite the book to make it more politically correct.

However, the rewrite is done in such a heavy-handed way that it renders the central heroine virtually useless, much to Lisa's disappointment. 

Critics argue their response is stubborn, an effort to shun any responsibility for the problem, and some even suggested that The Simpsons had predicted their own downfall many years previously.

Now, one of the show's producers has potentially made the situation a whole lot worse with a series of tweets on Friday afternoon.

Al Jean who has worked on the animated sitcom since 1989 effectively thanked people for all their responses to the episode and vowed that they are still trying to find a solution to the problem.


The tweet prompted a flurry of responses with many people suggesting ways of improving Apu with a 21st century mindset. Others shared videos of Hank Azaria admitting that he was initially told to make the character as offensive as possible.

What makes Jean's tweet even more worrying is the fact that he has shared several other tweets, some of which were critical of Hari Kondabolu and think pieces about Apu on his profile in the last few days.

Here are a few examples:

His attempt to defend the character and the episode didn't go down too well with several people taking offence to the article he shared by National Review, an American conservative website.

Related: The Simpsons' most memorable guest stars (Photo Services)


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