The Apu Question And Matt Groening’s Response

A look at the recent Apu controversy.

The creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, criticized the uproar against the old-school character, Apu.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, a documentary released recently stoked the wrath of Indian-Americans’ and their hatred of the Indian stereotype present in The Simpsons.

People have been trying to get rid of Apu because of its stereotypical characterization of south Asian people.

There have been some good critiques of the character, notably, that brown people claim they’ve been made fun of many times with the “Thank you, come again,” line.

According to some, they have nothing but hatred for the character because of the way people have terrorized them for years with Apu’s signature phrase.

However, obviously, a lot of brown people have said the exact opposite, and that it really doesn’t bother them because they know it’s satire, and the show is based on stereotypes.

The Simpsons
The Simpsons Dan-Dare.org

A lot of people are torn on the issue because the reason why The Simpsons are so funny is the entire show deals with stereotypes.

You have the corrupt politician who’s always philandering with women, Mayor Quimby; the incompetent and overweight cops, Chief Wiggum, and his equally as retarded cohorts; the town drunk, Barney, the stressed yet reasonable and compassionate housewife, Marge Simpson, and so on and so forth.

And how could one forget the title character, Homer Simpson, who embodies some of the worst stereotypes of the average American man?

He’s fat, lazy, ignorant, a daily drinker, and knows almost nothing of the world outside his life and community. But with all of his flaws, Homer loves his family: his saving grace on The Simpsons.

The entire show is based on stereotypes of different groups, with most of them being white, or……..yellow.

One could argue that the difference between Apu and the rest of the people on the show is that the stereotype of the Quik-E-Mart owner is mostly racial and related to his country of origin, rather than character traits.

Either way, Matt Groening doesn’t appear to agree with the criticism regarding the character. When he spoke with USA Today last week, they asked him if he had anything to say.

His response: “Not really. I’m proud of what we do on the show. And I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended.” The guy who made the documentary criticizing Apu had this to say on Twitter in response:

On the one hand, it’s understandable that people are offended by the character and want it to stop. However, it’s reasonable to be concerned about the future of what’s allowed in our culture.

No one wants to capitulate to “cry-bullies” either. If we continue to go down this path, the future of satire, as well as the freedom to say, feel, and think what we want, looks pretty grim.