The Simpsons have just announced a major change to the filming of future episodes, and many fans are wondering — will popular character Apu will remain in the show? After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Black Lives Matter movement is continuing to be at the forefront of life. Many people are advocating for the world to become a more diverse place, cutting out any forms of direct and indirect racism. Television is an area that has been under fire for both its historic and current use of racist stereotypes, with many shows being taken down from streaming sites in support of the movement. Producers of The Simpsons have just made a huge change to the show in order to limit racial stereotypes, but people are wondering if a certain character still remain in the show.
The problem with the outrage around 'The Simpsons' Hank Azaria and Apu
The Simpsons quietly dropped Apu years ago – but nobody noticed | The Independent | The Independent
Hank Azaria's done with Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and there's a lesson in the inevitable backlash that followed his announcement. The veteran actor behind many of the popular characters on The Simpsons confirmed that he's no longer voicing Apu during an appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday. It's not clear what that means for the character — Fox has no comment at the moment — but Azaria was clear about how his own role will change. There's some important background here for anyone who doesn't know it. Apu, the character, has been the subject of conversation and criticism ever since the The Problem with Apu started making the rounds back in However you might feel about Apu personally, the documentary led to still-ongoing discussions about representation, stereotypes, and microaggressions that continue to unfold even now. As I was looking through the news around Azaria's latest comments and the subsequent fan backlash, I noticed a common complaint pop up again and again.
The standup comic Hari Kondabolu talks about his documentary The Problem with Apu, which uses the notorious Kwik-E-Mart clerk as a springboard to discuss issues of representation and minstrelsy in pop culture. Like so many Americans, Kondabolu is a big fan of The Simpsons; when he first took note of the show in the early s, at which point south Asian representation in pop culture amounted to very little, he was thrilled to see himself on screen. But by the time Kondabolu was in middle school, Apu became something more sinister: a stereotype that gave school bullies carte blanche to pick on him. In the eyes of classmates, Kondabolu became an Apu. And his parents, who had immigrated to the US from India, became Apus too.
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon — voiced by Friends star Hank Azaria — was previously a frequent character on the beloved animation, but has been accused of perpetuating harmful stereotypes about South Asian people. Apu was quietly phased out in in response to the backlash, recurring only as an occasional background character. Last year, it was announced that white actors would no longer voice non-white characters on the show. Who can be against diversity? To me, the amazing thing is seeing all our brilliant actors who can do multiple voices, do multiple voices.