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Subject: "The Simpsons and Apu - comedy vs. being politically correct" Previous topic | Next topic
c71
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Mon Apr-09-18 04:13 PM

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"The Simpsons and Apu - comedy vs. being politically correct"


  

          

hmmm....

So it seems the Simpsons are not liking the criticism they've gotten for years over South Indian character/caricature Apu, so they seemingly "pushed back."


hmmm.....


Is it "once you start letting people 'guilt' or 'shame' you into 'being nice' then you can't be 'funny' anymore"?




https://slate.com/culture/2018/04/the-simpsons-shrugged-off-critics-of-apu-via-lisa-and-marge.html


BROW BEAT

The Simpsons Responds to The Problem With Apu With a Dismissive Shrug

By AISHA HARRIS

APRIL 09, 201811:31 AM

Lisa doesn't know how to address the problem with Apu on The Simpsons.
“What can you do?”


Last fall, comedian Hari Kondabolu released the documentary The Problem With Apu, in which he interrogates the history of The Simpsons’ Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Kwik-E-Mart operator and, for decades, the show’s token Indian character. Through interviews with other prominent South Asian Americans (including Kal Penn, Aziz Ansari, and Hasan Minhaj) as well as drawing on his own personal experiences having grown up with the character, Kondabolu called out The Simpsons’ creators for relying upon painful stereotypes and what is essentially brownface in the form of Hank Azaria voicing the role.

Kondabolu documented his attempts to reach out to Azaria for an on-camera interview, but he declined. The voice actor has addressed the issue publicly as recently as earlier this year, when he expressed sympathy for those upset by the character and said that the creative team would “definitely address” this on the show. And as of Sunday night’s episode, called “No Good Read Goes Unpunished,” they finally did.


While reading a bedtime story to Lisa, Marge edits the fictitious children’s book The Princess in the Garden so that any trace of content that would be considered objectionable in 2018 —”naturally servile” natives in South America, “feeble-witted and drunk” Irish—is gone. It turns out it’s much less satisfying (and much shorter), lacking in an “emotional journey” for its protagonist. “Well, what am I supposed to do?” an exasperated Marge says.

Lisa turns and looks directly at the audience: “It’s hard to say. Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” The camera then pans to a framed photo of Apu on the nightstand next to Lisa’s bed, signed with the phrase, “Don’t have a cow.” And then:

Marge: Some things will be dealt with at a later date.

Lisa: If at all.


Unsurprisingly, this pat, resigned reaction to the controversy didn’t sit well with Kondabolu and many others.


Hari Kondabolu

@harikondabolu
Wow. “Politically Incorrect?” That’s the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad. https://twitter.com/soham_burger/status/983200703660351488
12:45 AM - Apr 9, 2018
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Hari Kondabolu

@harikondabolu
In “The Problem with Apu,” I used Apu & The Simpsons as an entry point into a larger conversation about the representation of marginalized groups & why this is important. The Simpsons response tonight is not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress.
1:14 AM - Apr 9, 2018
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Later in the episode, Lisa brings Marge to Springfield University to meet scholars of the fictional book’s author, Heloise Hodgeson Burwell. (The name is presumably a reference to Frances Hodgson Burnett, whose beloved classic The Secret Garden features a white English girl arguing that the family’s Indian house staff “are not people.”) They claim that Burwell’s “whole life was a protest against conformity,” because she was unmarried, never had kids, and lived in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She’s a “lesbian icon” and her “offensive stereotypes were actually a self-consciously ironic protest against her own oppression.” When a skeptical Marge asks them how much of that characterization they actually believe, they respond, hesitantly: “Most.” They deal with the incongruities with the help of alcohol.

The basic framing of that earlier meta reference and the scene at the university is a startling misrepresentation of the issues Kondabolu and many others have brought forth. To suggest that Apu (who was created nearly 30 years ago when on-screen Asian representation was even more dire than it is now) was ever “inoffensive” is only true if you’re speaking about it from the perspectives of the non-Asian segment of the population, which obviously wouldn’t have any reason to be offended. Yet for many Indian Americans who grew up with The Simpsons, this character, the brainchild of white creators, was all they had. And in merely poking fun at the stereotypes (the “self-consciously ironic protest” bit), the writers deflect responsibility even further, admitting that they’ve had to reflect upon their creative choices and have come to the conclusion that there’s nothing more they can possibly do.


During an interview for my Slate podcast Represent, Kondabolu told me that he didn’t want the writers to take the “lazy” way out in addressing the controversy and kill off Apu. They didn’t wind up doing that, but instead did something that’s perhaps just as much of a cop-out: looked directly at their critics, dinged them for being “politically correct,” and then shrugged it off. What can you do?

Update, April 9, 12:30 p.m.: Hari Kondabolu has released an “official” statement on the episode.


Hari Kondabolu

@harikondabolu
TO THE JOURNALISTS WHO HAVE ASKED ME FOR A PUBLIC STATEMENT ABOUT LAST NIGHT’S SIMPSONS EPISODE, I JUST WANT SAY: “Congratulations to the Simpsons for being talked about & being seen as relevant again.”
11:14 AM - Apr 9, 2018
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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
It's a shitty look.
Apr 09th 2018
1
They were better off not addressing it at all, to be honest.
Apr 09th 2018
2
Right? The even took Lisa down with them.
Apr 10th 2018
18
Ugh.
Apr 09th 2018
3
i have a razor sharp clear memory of my dad
Apr 09th 2018
4
They've been getting away with this so long, they dont want to change.
Apr 09th 2018
5
Kill Apu off, so then the complaints will be 'no diversity"
Apr 09th 2018
6
so the only options are racist charicature or no diversity?
Apr 11th 2018
64
      'twas a joke, man.
Apr 26th 2018
93
They should hire an Indian American actor to play him BUT
Apr 09th 2018
7
lol all of a sudden he's Russell Peters.
Apr 10th 2018
14
The idea that being more sensitive makes us less funny is bullshit.
Apr 09th 2018
8
I do think to SOME extent comedy is based on misfortune
Apr 09th 2018
10
      misfortune/struggle as a source of humor isn't the issue.
Apr 10th 2018
15
      so here's an example
Apr 10th 2018
21
           That actually DID happen with the Apu character
Apr 11th 2018
47
the very first time i saw Apu i thought it was the funniest thing ever
Apr 09th 2018
9
when I was a kid
Apr 11th 2018
39
I didn't think I would ever be ok with the Simpson going away but this d...
Apr 09th 2018
11
isnt apu one of the smartest & hardest working ppl in springfield
Apr 09th 2018
12
Yeah but he’s got a lame stereotypical accent voiced by a white guy
Apr 10th 2018
13
This is the type of shit white people say to defend racist shit.
Apr 10th 2018
16
HELLO.
Apr 10th 2018
17
basically
Apr 10th 2018
19
Yep, kinda surprised a Black man would say that
Apr 10th 2018
20
      sorry for not watching the show much an having a genuine question
Apr 10th 2018
23
           If you saw the Black doctor character on the Simpsons
Apr 10th 2018
24
                yeah because i dont know any black ppl that sound like that
Apr 10th 2018
25
                     So here's what's getting lost
Apr 10th 2018
26
                          That's his issue (Hari Kondabolu )
Apr 10th 2018
27
                               Raj on Big Bang Theory is a stereotype? How so?
Apr 11th 2018
29
                               His parents are rich
Apr 11th 2018
33
                                    Being a rich Indian is a stereotype?
Apr 11th 2018
34
                                    So it's just one sterotype thats bad?
Apr 11th 2018
42
                                    probably because its based in reality
Apr 11th 2018
40
                               Nobody is mad at the Simpsons for not fixing the world
Apr 11th 2018
45
Bruh.. not like this
Apr 11th 2018
32
Apu is the only serious character on the whole show
Apr 10th 2018
22
isnt the yt hillbilly character just as stereotypical?
Apr 11th 2018
28
The writers are aware. They had a bowling team called "The Stereotypes"
Apr 11th 2018
30
In a town full of non-stereotypical white characters
Apr 11th 2018
35
      Is Homer not a stereotypical white person?
Apr 11th 2018
41
      Springfield is ostensibly filled with stereotypically dumb white people
Apr 11th 2018
43
      The characters all seem almost cartoon-ish
Apr 11th 2018
46
      almost
Apr 11th 2018
49
      how many others are racial stereotypes?
Apr 18th 2018
79
           Honestly, a lot
Apr 18th 2018
80
                they're all white except for Bumblebee Man
Apr 22nd 2018
84
                     Exactly. Which is what I said in the first place
Apr 26th 2018
91
                          which is why i asked how many are racial stereotypes, as in non-white.
Apr 26th 2018
92
      That's still a group of rich people making fun of people
Apr 11th 2018
52
Hari is the most annoying kind of SJW
Apr 11th 2018
31
Nobody is more annoying that people who use SJW non-ironically.
Apr 11th 2018
36
people like Sam Harris and Dave Rubin
Apr 11th 2018
38
I hope he gets the results he's looking for from this, whatever that is
Apr 11th 2018
54
totally agree with this
Apr 12th 2018
66
You mean, like a documentary about representation in media?
Apr 18th 2018
77
      Were there original characters in his documentary?
Apr 19th 2018
81
           I don't have to be a carpenter to tell you your chair's fucked up.
Apr 20th 2018
82
                It's definitely a skill/valid form of film.
Apr 20th 2018
83
points deducted for use of "SJW" foul ball.
Apr 11th 2018
62
lol just saw it on reddit my man
Apr 12th 2018
65
      Its a signal to show what side you on.
Apr 13th 2018
68
           ahh i see... kinda like use of the word cuck
Apr 17th 2018
73
           SJW and "virtue signaling" are pretty good imo
Apr 17th 2018
75
RE: Hari is the most annoying kind of SJW
Apr 14th 2018
69
I kinda just wished he were funny
Apr 25th 2018
86
      this is what I was getting at in my comment
Apr 27th 2018
95
that was trash juice that they responded the way they did...
Apr 11th 2018
37
It took a while, but mrHood in reply #43 came through with the key
Apr 11th 2018
44
hardware already corverd that in reply 26
Apr 11th 2018
51
Stereotypes and cop-outs, call 'em what you want - it's "edgy" to
Apr 11th 2018
53
      Apu wasn't designed to be edgy. lol
Apr 11th 2018
55
           Putting up a stereotype is edgy enough to some - putting a
Apr 11th 2018
56
           thats... what i just said
Apr 11th 2018
57
                comedy is often lazy, rock and roll is often lazy, hip-hop is often lazy
Apr 11th 2018
59
                     i mean, i guess if you shooting for the low bar.
Apr 11th 2018
60
                          brash stuff
Apr 11th 2018
61
                               word
Apr 11th 2018
63
           my reply #56 came before your edit - so I'll now reply to your edit
Apr 11th 2018
58
I see your point
Apr 15th 2018
70
don't agree with the original criticism but this was a lazy dumb respons...
Apr 11th 2018
48
Life is short
Apr 11th 2018
50
Hari's point is sorta valid but I don't think The Simpsons needed to res...
Apr 12th 2018
67
Apu Trilogy Pt. 1 (LINK)
Apr 16th 2018
71
I hope they murder Apu and his entire family
Apr 16th 2018
72
      or maybe
Apr 25th 2018
87
      ...by a black dude that's mad because Apu said something...
Apr 26th 2018
94
okay so I watched the Problem With Apu
Apr 17th 2018
74
nailed it. white stereotypes don't block white opportunity
Apr 18th 2018
76
petty & assholish response
Apr 18th 2018
78
Hank Azaria on Colbert talking about Apu
Apr 25th 2018
85
Don't bury it
Apr 25th 2018
88
      Don't stop with that
Apr 25th 2018
89
      translation: i got too much money for these problems
Apr 25th 2018
90
           Both replies de-incentivize engagement
Apr 27th 2018
96

Frank Longo
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1. "It's a shitty look. "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Nearly the worst possible way they could've dealt with it.

Hungry Hippos: The Movie. Now available to read: http://www.russellhainline.com.

  

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Ryan M
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Mon Apr-09-18 04:38 PM

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2. "They were better off not addressing it at all, to be honest."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

This makes them look both petty and ignorant. There are plenty of things that we've progressed past as a society - the Indian stereotype is one of them - and for them to shrug this off as "political incorrectness" rather than blatant racism is really stupid and shows just how out of touch they are. Sad.

------------------------------
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James. Ingram. Ball. Kuzma. Stephenson. Rondo. Caldwell-Pope. Zubac. McGee. Beasely. TBD...

  

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hardware
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18. "Right? The even took Lisa down with them."
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

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stravinskian
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3. "Ugh."
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Apr-09-18 05:13 PM by stravinskian

          

The words "politically correct" and "politically incorrect" should be wiped from the lexicon. They're really only used to obfuscate.

I love The Simpsons, but they should have known from the beginning that they were way out of line with Apu.

  

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dba_BAD
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4. "i have a razor sharp clear memory of my dad"
In response to Reply # 0


          

pointing this out to me as a kid

i was a massive fan of the simpsons - one of the few things i was truly a fan of, really

i didn't pick up on apu as being a racist caricature - at that age i was barely grasping the intended satire, let alone context like that

i mean i was playing the damn quickie mart song on cd and singing along

but my dad went straight for it - i was conflicted around my favorite show maybe 'doing wrong,' embarrassed for not having observed it on my own and proud my dad saw me as bright and mature enough to give it to me straight

__

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Teknontheou
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5. "They've been getting away with this so long, they dont want to change."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

And they feel put upon by the growing dissatisfaction people feel with the Apu character. They're lashing out at the criticism.

  

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flipnile
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Mon Apr-09-18 05:20 PM

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6. "Kill Apu off, so then the complaints will be 'no diversity""
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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Bluebear
Member since Apr 06th 2003
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64. "so the only options are racist charicature or no diversity?"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

  

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flipnile
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93. "'twas a joke, man."
In response to Reply # 64


  

          

  

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Adwhizz
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7. "They should hire an Indian American actor to play him BUT"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

have him start suddenly speaking with a Midwestern accent, and randomly he's a Cop now or a Firefighter or some other un-stereotypical profession (although he WAS a volunteer fireman at one point)


But just make the character completely different but still has the same name and all the characters just act like that's how he always was.

R.I.P. Loud But Wrong Guy
Dec 29th 2009 - Dec 17th 2017

  

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Nodima
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14. "lol all of a sudden he's Russell Peters."
In response to Reply # 7


  

          


~~~~~~~~~
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http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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8. "The idea that being more sensitive makes us less funny is bullshit. "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

funny shit and jokes are all around us. More than than ever with twitter in the mix. It's not like if we get rid of the less sensitive stuff we would run out of jokes.


**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"

  

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Adwhizz
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10. "I do think to SOME extent comedy is based on misfortune"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

seeing people in embarrassing situations or making light of their character quirks (no I don't think someone's country of Origin is a character quirk)

Now sometimes (like stand up comedy) it's the person themselves pointing out their issues and encouraging people to laugh at their own shortcomings.


A lot of the humor for the cast of Characters on that show is based on serious issues

Barney- Alcoholism

Milhouse- Socially awkward nerd, bad with talking to ladies.

Abraham Simpson - Elderly/senile

Moe The Bartender: Physically unattractive, Anger Issues, lonely and suicidal as a result of all that

Cletus the Slack-jawed Yokel: Poverty/lack of education.

Comic Book Guy- Obese, Antisocial outcast.

Bart: Behavioral issues and an abusive Father

Those are serious, real life issues people struggle with daily but for the most part we feel comfortable laughing at them.

R.I.P. Loud But Wrong Guy
Dec 29th 2009 - Dec 17th 2017

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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15. "misfortune/struggle as a source of humor isn't the issue. "
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

I don't think the rule is you can't make fun of people. I think the issue is, is it really funny just because they are different?

Or maybe it's just kind of lazy. I think you can make some funny jokes about a group but if your go to joke about an Indian person is they were at a convenience store then that's just kind of lazy.

Maybe the way simpson could address it is if it turns out that Apu has saved up a shit ton of money and buys out Ed Burns from the nuclear plant.



**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"

  

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hardware
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21. "so here's an example"
In response to Reply # 10
Tue Apr-10-18 06:43 PM by hardware

  

          

You see a stranger that you wanna make fun of
the jokes consist of
-how they walk
-how they talk
-what they look like
-et al easy shit

You have a acquaintance, the jokes consist of
-mannerisms
-likes and dislikes
-relationships they have with other aquantances
- etc

You have a close relationship
-hopes and fears
-deep call backs and references
-disposition
-personality
-history
-future
-etc

shit you can only develop by getting past surface level stereotypes. If you want jokes about misfortune, get granular.

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Adwhizz
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47. "That actually DID happen with the Apu character"
In response to Reply # 21
Wed Apr-11-18 12:27 PM by Adwhizz

  

          

In his first appearance he was only on screen less than a minute at a time

But he did get whole episodes that fleshed out his character and showed his background/family life/outside of working at the store.

It's not like he just shows up, says something in a funny accent and leaves after he gets laughed at.

R.I.P. Loud But Wrong Guy
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Mynoriti
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9. "the very first time i saw Apu i thought it was the funniest thing ever"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i was a teenager and here was a cartoon doing the hacky indian voice me and my friends did to make fun of convenience store brown guys. it's not like we learned that thank-you-come-again shit from Apu, as much as it seemed like Apu stemmed from dumbasses like us. if anything it kind of validated our ignorance. especially since everyone loved the simpsons.

i get that pc can get ridiculous at times, but this is a crappy thing to dig in on. it just feels tantrumish.

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Dr Claw
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39. "when I was a kid"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

I didn't use it to make fun of convenience store guys (where I lived at the time, you'd be lucky to see any actual Indian people for years)

but after the stage ended in Sonic 1 on "Act Clear" I used to say "Thank You, Come Again" in that voice.

  

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kevlar skully
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11. "I didn't think I would ever be ok with the Simpson going away but this d..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


Having Lisa resigning to no progress likely being made on such a important issue while presenting political correctness as some enemy to comedy is the moment the Simpsons became Abe yelling at clouds.

They could have just casted an Indian dude with a less exaggerated and stereotypical accent, solving the problem with Apu and making everyone happy. Instead they prove the Simpsons writers are just a bunch of old white guys with nothing left to say, really.

People have dogged this show for the last 20 years and I always defended it. Even if I didn't watch it and it wasn't great, I'd rather it still be on the air. After this, I finally feel like it will be ok if the Simpsons ended.

  

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BrooklynWHAT
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12. "isnt apu one of the smartest & hardest working ppl in springfield"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

also he portrays "american values" better than the actual americans

like im not OD familiar w/ the simpsons but from what i've seen thats the read i get.

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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kevlar skully
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Tue Apr-10-18 12:28 AM

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13. "Yeah but he’s got a lame stereotypical accent voiced by a white guy"
In response to Reply # 12
Tue Apr-10-18 12:32 AM by kevlar skully

  

          

And the character was one of the few representations of Indians to most Americans. It was common for Indian kids to be mocked with the accent and catchphrase. To this day, Indian talent are asked to do stupid ass accents like the dude from Big Bang Theory

That’s the problem with Apu that explained in the reallly good and funny documentary. It’s on Vimeo and less than an hour long, so I definitely suggest watching it

No one is saying Apu is all bad and his good characterization through the series is noted but the documentary does a good job of explaining “the problem with Apu”

  

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bignick
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16. "This is the type of shit white people say to defend racist shit. "
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

"We're honoring you."

C'mon, man.

  

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soulpsychodelicyde
Member since Nov 18th 2003
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Tue Apr-10-18 06:02 PM

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17. "HELLO."
In response to Reply # 16


          

  

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hardware
Member since May 22nd 2007
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19. "basically"
In response to Reply # 16
Tue Apr-10-18 06:44 PM by hardware

  

          

as long as the one dimension white folks show is "working hard" its cool. ticked off that box.

-----------------------------------------------------
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https://instagram.com/fourcolorblack/

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
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Tue Apr-10-18 06:39 PM

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20. "Yep, kinda surprised a Black man would say that"
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

smh at Bwhat

---------------------------
Signature

  

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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
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23. "sorry for not watching the show much an having a genuine question "
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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Lurkmode
Member since May 07th 2011
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24. "If you saw the Black doctor character on the Simpsons"
In response to Reply # 23


  

          

one time and he was talking like Stepin Fetchit would it matter that he was a doctor ?

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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
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25. "yeah because i dont know any black ppl that sound like that"
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

i know a lot of indians that sound like apu so it never registered to me. i didnt know a white dude did the voice tho.

im not saying indian people dont have a right to feel offended.

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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hardware
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26. "So here's what's getting lost"
In response to Reply # 25


  

          

the whole thing is about the documentary The Problem With Apu

long story short, at its core, its about when you have one single minority member in a sea of white faces in a show or movie or whatever and that character becomes the template for said minority in the real world. Its compounded when that one character is made out of stereotypes. Because there is no other character to balance and because most white people only really interact with white people, those stereotypes get brought out into the real world.

-----------------------------------------------------
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https://instagram.com/fourcolorblack/

  

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handle
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27. "That's his issue (Hari Kondabolu )"
In response to Reply # 26


          

>. Because there is no
>other character to balance and because most white people only
>really interact with white people, those stereotypes get
>brought out into the real world.

White people ask "Where's the harm."

He feels there's been real harm because no other shows had an Indian character so now all non-Indians think all Indians must be like Apu. (Or until Big Bang Theory came on, where frankly Raj is a stereotype with a less stereotypical accent.)

In the end of the documentary even the film maker has no idea what could/should be done to remedy what he sees as a great harm.

And now they're mad because the Simpsons didn't solve it, or address is in what they think would be a constructive way - and instead made a joke aimed back at the people who have brought the issue up - they are mad.

You can choose what way to feel for yourself.



------------
My prayers have been answered!

Gone
My Discogs collection for The Roots:
http://www.discogs.com/user/tomhayes-roots/collection

  

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PimpTrickGangstaClik
Member since Oct 06th 2005
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29. "Raj on Big Bang Theory is a stereotype? How so?"
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

_______________________________________
You ain't the only one whose got problems. You ain't the only one who knows pain. Get up off your ass and just solve them. You still got a chance to try to change, try the shit again.
Devin tha Dude

  

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handle
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33. "His parents are rich"
In response to Reply # 29


          

That's a big stereotype for a class of Indians.

Also, the arranged marriage plot from years back.

------------
My prayers have been answered!

Gone
My Discogs collection for The Roots:
http://www.discogs.com/user/tomhayes-roots/collection

  

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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
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Wed Apr-11-18 09:56 AM

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34. "Being a rich Indian is a stereotype? "
In response to Reply # 33


          

I think it’s moreso stuff like owning a motel or 7-11 while wearing a head wrap

and arranged marriages are definitely common

For me it’s a problem when you give ethnic folks the strongest accents possible while giving them the most predictable job.

Mexican Gardner with a strong accent
African cab driver with a strong accent
Jewish banker/jeweler with a strong accent

shut up already, damn

  

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handle
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42. "So it's just one sterotype thats bad?"
In response to Reply # 34


          

>For me it’s a problem when you give ethnic folks the
>strongest accents possible while giving them the most
>predictable job.

I think this goes to the two issues:
1)This has hurt people's feelings

2)Even people with hurt feelings don't have a definite answer on how to fix it - just that it is wrong.

And I'm sure there is a range of opinions on what's "wrong." Some people may feel working at 7-11 but with a less pronounced accent would still be bad. Or if he had no accent it'd be bad. Or if he had imperial British accent it'd be bad.

I'll be if Apu had a 'medium' accent and worked in an insurance agency that his vegetarianism might be problematic too - to some people. (Definitely the statues of Ganesha.)

Some stereotypes are okay for different people.



------------
My prayers have been answered!

Gone
My Discogs collection for The Roots:
http://www.discogs.com/user/tomhayes-roots/collection

  

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BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
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40. "probably because its based in reality"
In response to Reply # 33


  

          

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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hardware
Member since May 22nd 2007
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45. "Nobody is mad at the Simpsons for not fixing the world"
In response to Reply # 27
Wed Apr-11-18 12:05 PM by hardware

  

          

Everyone is confused as to why they even addressed it in such a victimized way when they could have just kept it moving. Its not like people didnt already think Apu was iffy.

The side issue is that when media stereotypes come out in bullying, jobs, dress codes, resources, etc.

The black characters on the show seem to operate without stereotypes which i think is by design in contrast to how stereotypical the white people are.

-----------------------------------------------------
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https://instagram.com/fourcolorblack/

  

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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
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32. "Bruh.. not like this "
In response to Reply # 12


          

shut up already, damn

  

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handle
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22. "Apu is the only serious character on the whole show"
In response to Reply # 0


          

First, his voice is accurate - all Indians should like Fisher Stevens in Short Circuit - who learned it from Peter Sellers in The Party .

Wha else did they get right?

Sold children to circus - CHECK
Lead singer of hard rock tribute band - CHECK
Volunteer Fireman who steals things - CHECK
Store owner who gouges during natural disasters - CHECK
Cheats on wife with squishee girl - CHECK
Sells tainted meat - CHECK
Took a bullet for James Woods - CHECK
Won a Grammy for best barbershop quartet album - CHECK
Know Linda and Paul McCarntney - CHECK.
Knows Elton John - CHECK.
Bowls in a league - CHECK
Illegal immigrant who games the system for citizenship - CHECK
Lottery Winner - CHECK
Married to a woman voiced by Tress McNiel - Check

------------
My prayers have been answered!

Gone
My Discogs collection for The Roots:
http://www.discogs.com/user/tomhayes-roots/collection

  

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seasoned vet
Member since Jul 29th 2008
4976 posts
Wed Apr-11-18 07:44 AM

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28. "isnt the yt hillbilly character just as stereotypical?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

among many other characters and situations on the show?

  

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PimpTrickGangstaClik
Member since Oct 06th 2005
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30. "The writers are aware. They had a bowling team called "The Stereotypes""
In response to Reply # 28


  

          

http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/The_Stereotypes

_______________________________________
You ain't the only one whose got problems. You ain't the only one who knows pain. Get up off your ass and just solve them. You still got a chance to try to change, try the shit again.
Devin tha Dude

  

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Binladen
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35. "In a town full of non-stereotypical white characters "
In response to Reply # 28


  

          

  

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PimpTrickGangstaClik
Member since Oct 06th 2005
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41. "Is Homer not a stereotypical white person?"
In response to Reply # 35
Wed Apr-11-18 10:19 AM by PimpTrickGangstaClik

  

          

Actually, what is a stereotypical white person?
Dave Chappelle in whiteface was portraying a stereotypical white guy. But is it even possible in the US media to have a stereotypical white character (other than redneck)?

_______________________________________
You ain't the only one whose got problems. You ain't the only one who knows pain. Get up off your ass and just solve them. You still got a chance to try to change, try the shit again.
Devin tha Dude

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
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Wed Apr-11-18 11:44 AM

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43. "Springfield is ostensibly filled with stereotypically dumb white people"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

The over-arching point of the show is that the "average" U.S. citizen/middle American is clueless and a complete moron.

That's not take to take away from anything that "The Trouble With Apu" was saying, but Apu is far from the only stereotypical character on that show.

-----------------

www.albumism.com

It's the Hed Rush: http://hedrush.podomatic.com/
"We take rap serious, it's not a hobby to us."

  

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handle
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46. "The characters all seem almost cartoon-ish"
In response to Reply # 43


          

>The over-arching point of the show is that the "average" U.S.
>citizen/middle American is clueless and a complete moron.
>
>That's not take to take away from anything that "The Trouble
>With Apu" was saying, but Apu is far from the only
>stereotypical character on that show.

------------
My prayers have been answered!

Gone
My Discogs collection for The Roots:
http://www.discogs.com/user/tomhayes-roots/collection

  

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hardware
Member since May 22nd 2007
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49. "almost"
In response to Reply # 46


  

          

-----------------------------------------------------
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https://instagram.com/fourcolorblack/

  

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40thStreetBlack
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79. "how many others are racial stereotypes?"
In response to Reply # 43


  

          

>With Apu" was saying, but Apu is far from the only
>stereotypical character on that show.

I'm guessing there are some other minor characters that are (haven't really watched the show in over a decade so not really sure), but Apu pretty much sticks out in that regard.

<------- I'm God's lonely man

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
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80. "Honestly, a lot"
In response to Reply # 79
Wed Apr-18-18 05:36 PM by mrhood75

  

          

Just off the top: Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, Luigi Risotto, Fat Tony and his crew, Bumblebee Man, Cletus (if we're counting slackjawed yokel as an ethnicity), etc.

Many of the characters are broad, cartoonish stereotypes by design.

Yes, Apu is more prominent than most, but part of it is bigger he's had a bigger role than most of the secondary characters.

-----------------

www.albumism.com

It's the Hed Rush: http://hedrush.podomatic.com/
"We take rap serious, it's not a hobby to us."

  

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40thStreetBlack
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84. "they're all white except for Bumblebee Man"
In response to Reply # 80


  

          

>Just off the top: Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie,
>Luigi Risotto, Fat Tony and his crew, Bumblebee Man, Cletus
>(if we're counting slackjawed yokel as an ethnicity), etc.

as others have mentioned, that matters.


>Many of the characters are broad, cartoonish stereotypes by
>design.

of course. that doesn't really lessen the issues with Apu though.

<------- I'm God's lonely man

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
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91. "Exactly. Which is what I said in the first place"
In response to Reply # 84


  

          

Springfield is filled with stereotypical white people.

I never said that there weren't issues with Apu or that the documentary was invalid. I was responding to the incorrect assertion that Apu was a stereotypical Indian character amidst non-stereotypical white characters.

-----------------

www.albumism.com

It's the Hed Rush: http://hedrush.podomatic.com/
"We take rap serious, it's not a hobby to us."

  

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40thStreetBlack
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92. "which is why i asked how many are racial stereotypes, as in non-white."
In response to Reply # 91


  

          

>I never said that there weren't issues with Apu or that the
>documentary was invalid. I was responding to the incorrect
>assertion that Apu was a stereotypical Indian character amidst
>non-stereotypical white characters.

ok. it seemed like you were equating the stereotyping of Apu as just another of the various stereotypical characters on the show. but if not then cool.

<------- I'm God's lonely man

  

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Adwhizz
Member since Nov 12th 2003
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Wed Apr-11-18 12:25 PM

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52. "That's still a group of rich people making fun of people"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

Living in Poverty with a lack of education and opportunity.

R.I.P. Loud But Wrong Guy
Dec 29th 2009 - Dec 17th 2017

  

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Amritsar
Member since Jan 18th 2008
28412 posts
Wed Apr-11-18 08:47 AM

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31. "Hari is the most annoying kind of SJW"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

just always ON ONE



_______________________________________________

  

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bignick
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36. "Nobody is more annoying that people who use SJW non-ironically. "
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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38. "people like Sam Harris and Dave Rubin"
In response to Reply # 36


  

          

who have made being "against the SJWs" a cottage industry

  

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Adwhizz
Member since Nov 12th 2003
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54. "I hope he gets the results he's looking for from this, whatever that is"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

More importantly, as a comedian/artist I hope he takes that same energy and actually CREATES some shit that he thinks better represents his people.

R.I.P. Loud But Wrong Guy
Dec 29th 2009 - Dec 17th 2017

  

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dillinjah
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66. "totally agree with this"
In response to Reply # 54


  

          

>More importantly, as a comedian/artist I hope he takes that
>same energy and actually CREATES some shit that he thinks
>better represents his people.

  

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magilla vanilla
Member since Sep 13th 2002
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Wed Apr-18-18 03:43 PM

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77. "You mean, like a documentary about representation in media?"
In response to Reply # 54


  

          

>More importantly, as a comedian/artist I hope he takes that
>same energy and actually CREATES some shit that he thinks
>better represents his people.

Or a couple of pretty damned good comedy albums/specials?

---------------------------------
Photo zine(some images NSFW): http://bit.ly/USaSPhoto

"This (and every, actually) conversation needs more Chesterton and less Mike Francesa." - Walleye

  

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Adwhizz
Member since Nov 12th 2003
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81. "Were there original characters in his documentary?"
In response to Reply # 77


  

          

I'm asking honestly since I haven't seen it?

Unless he's a character/gimmick comic there's a difference between stand up and creating a fictional world of characters which is what I understand he is critiquing.

R.I.P. Loud But Wrong Guy
Dec 29th 2009 - Dec 17th 2017

  

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magilla vanilla
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82. "I don't have to be a carpenter to tell you your chair's fucked up."
In response to Reply # 81


  

          

Documentary filmmaking is a creative endeavor, chief.

---------------------------------
Photo zine(some images NSFW): http://bit.ly/USaSPhoto

"This (and every, actually) conversation needs more Chesterton and less Mike Francesa." - Walleye

  

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Adwhizz
Member since Nov 12th 2003
39457 posts
Fri Apr-20-18 08:48 AM

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83. "It's definitely a skill/valid form of film."
In response to Reply # 82


  

          

But little kids don't tend to buy lunchboxes/t-shirts/toys based on documentaries.

There's a difference between creating fiction and non-fiction.

if his criticism is the portrayal of Indian CHARACTERS in media, as a comedian/artist he's in a position to actually CREATE some better work.

Especially right now since he's got attention on him from this, he should parlay that into producing a movie or TV show or something and actually CREATE some original characters

R.I.P. Loud But Wrong Guy
Dec 29th 2009 - Dec 17th 2017

  

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double negative
Member since Dec 14th 2007
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Wed Apr-11-18 02:08 PM

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62. "points deducted for use of "SJW" foul ball. "
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

you gonna start using "MSM" next?

***********************************************************
https://soundcloud.com/swageyph/yph-die-with-me

  

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Amritsar
Member since Jan 18th 2008
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65. "lol just saw it on reddit my man"
In response to Reply # 62


  

          

thought thats what the cool kids were sayin now

_______________________________________________

  

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double negative
Member since Dec 14th 2007
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68. "Its a signal to show what side you on. "
In response to Reply # 65


  

          

But, you're also not wrong either, its starting to be used in a widespread way but its still the easiest way to figure out if someone has been drinking the alt-right koolaide

***********************************************************
https://soundcloud.com/swageyph/yph-die-with-me

  

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Amritsar
Member since Jan 18th 2008
28412 posts
Tue Apr-17-18 09:44 AM

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73. "ahh i see... kinda like use of the word cuck"
In response to Reply # 68


  

          

everyone's a cuck who isn't on the The Donald train!

_______________________________________________

  

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Mynoriti
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75. "SJW and "virtue signaling" are pretty good imo"
In response to Reply # 68


  

          

i just won't use them because i'm not trying to get lumped in to the cuck/snowflake "hey check out this Ben Shapiro video!" group of fuckwads

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mc_delta_t
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69. "RE: Hari is the most annoying kind of SJW"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

I'ts so annoying when people will just not shut up about inequality and injustice! The nerve!

  

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Premiere
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86. "I kinda just wished he were funny"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

  

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Amritsar
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95. "this is what I was getting at in my comment"
In response to Reply # 86


  

          

dude is a comedian


But it feels like his politics are way at the forefront of his act. When it should be humor lol


Plenty of other young indian comedians killin it (Aparna Nancherla, Hasan, etc)

_______________________________________________

  

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Dr Claw
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37. "that was trash juice that they responded the way they did... "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

...and also using Lisa's character to do it on-screen. and just so you knew who they meant, they had a picture of Apu right there on the dresser.

that smelled like the writing of a guy who thinks Sam Harris is smart

  

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c71
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44. "It took a while, but mrHood in reply #43 came through with the key"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

yeah, The Simpsons got known for clever humor....but....they always wanted an "edge" and that "edge" was about saying/showcasing "harsh" things.


yeah....I know....

over the years, the Simpsons became know for "clever" writing, so people ignored that the Simpsons was based on comedy with an "edge" (harshness).


To expect "harshness" not to extend to a non-white character (or only in a "careful" way to a non-white character) is not realistic from a comedy standpoint.


for comedy, if you're going to have an edge, that's what you have to have. You can't be nice. South Park goes extreme so you know they are "going for 'edge'" but....if a comedy starts clearly with an "edge" (The Simpsons) they can't just water it down to be "nice."

  

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Lurkmode
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51. "hardware already corverd that in reply 26"
In response to Reply # 44


  

          

A stereotype is not an "edge" it's just lazy writing and thinking.

In “The Problem with Apu,” I used Apu & The Simpsons as an entry point into a larger conversation about the representation of marginalized groups & why this is important. The Simpsons response tonight is not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress.

— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) April 9, 2018



>yeah, The Simpsons got known for clever humor....but....they
>always wanted an "edge" and that "edge" was about
>saying/showcasing "harsh" things.
>
>
>yeah....I know....
>
>over the years, the Simpsons became know for "clever" writing,
>so people ignored that the Simpsons was based on comedy with
>an "edge" (harshness).
>
>
>To expect "harshness" not to extend to a non-white character
>(or only in a "careful" way to a non-white character) is not
>realistic from a comedy standpoint.
>
>
>for comedy, if you're going to have an edge, that's what you
>have to have. You can't be nice. South Park goes extreme so
>you know they are "going for 'edge'" but....if a comedy starts
>clearly with an "edge" (The Simpsons) they can't just water it
>down to be "nice."

All of those shows(South Park, Family Guy...) use the same "we make fun of everyone cop out.

---------------------------
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c71
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53. "Stereotypes and cop-outs, call 'em what you want - it's "edgy" to "
In response to Reply # 51


  

          

many.


and that's what "edgy" comedy will always be about.


Comedy is like rock-n-roll or hip-hop.


You can love and admire all non-lazy/well thought out rock and hip-hop, but there will always be a market/audience for rock and hip-hop that goes for the "harsh" (non-well thought out) quick "thrill"


same with comedy

  

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hardware
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55. "Apu wasn't designed to be edgy. lol"
In response to Reply # 53
Wed Apr-11-18 01:17 PM by hardware

  

          

he was literally a brown immigrant store clerk. Up until he got married, all his jokes were about the Kwik-E-Mart. HE LIVED IN THE KWIK-E-MART. That was the extent of his role.

Its a clear stereotype they were playing off. Its not suddenly wrong. It was wrong then. At the time it was something they could "get away with". You have to also remember how big the Simpsons was and that Apu was, for most people, the only interaction with an Indian person they ever had.

-----------------------------------------------------
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c71
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56. "Putting up a stereotype is edgy enough to some - putting a "
In response to Reply # 55


  

          

stereotype up for comedic purposes is not "designing"


"designing" is something artists who are "careful" and make "well-thought out" art do.

People who are edgy in their art just "throw out" stuff here and there to "see what sticks" - like stereotypical characters.

  

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hardware
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57. "thats... what i just said"
In response to Reply # 56
Wed Apr-11-18 01:22 PM by hardware

  

          

Apu was lazily conceived. it wasn't meant to be edgy, it was just lazy and convenient because he was meant to exist in the periphery to deliver setups and punchlines in a convenient store.


sidenote: people design edgy shit all the time, man. lol. There's job applications for it.

-----------------------------------------------------
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c71
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59. "comedy is often lazy, rock and roll is often lazy, hip-hop is often lazy"
In response to Reply # 57


  

          

that's the way it goes.


NOt supposed to be "careful"

  

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hardware
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60. "i mean, i guess if you shooting for the low bar."
In response to Reply # 59


  

          

shoutout to holding folks to a standard

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c71
Member since Jan 15th 2008
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61. "brash stuff"
In response to Reply # 60


  

          

yes

  

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hardware
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63. "word"
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

either way

nobody was asking for Apu to change
but their response to the documentary was really dumb and a waste of everyone's time.

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c71
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58. "my reply #56 came before your edit - so I'll now reply to your edit"
In response to Reply # 55


  

          

comedy can often be rocknroll or hip hop like - it's not always going to be "careful" and "well-thought out"


sorry

that's just the way it goes - it's going to be "brash" - not "designed" to not offend.

Comedy - hip-hop - rock n roll


now, if we're talking about classical music or literature, then.

  

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obsidianchrysalis
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70. "I see your point"
In response to Reply # 44


  

          

But the guideline between 'edgy' and inappropriate changes over time. Like Dave Chappelle's homophobic and transphobic jokes may have been funny ten years ago when he was younger but they are inappropriate now.

I'm sure if the writers of The Simpsons wanted to make a point about 'politically correctness' that was 'edgy' they could have pointed out how politically correctness limits the edges of honest, true conversations about important issues in a way that poked at both sides.

But to just label those who are sensitive to stereotypes in the media as overly-sensitive and unfunny is irritating and immature.

Granted these are comedians at their core and they aren't required to be progressive. But it doesn't seem that their point was very funny either.

The most comfortable and wisest people are those who watch their health when they are healthy; guard their country when it is untroubled; and cultivate their fields well when weeds are nonexistent or scarce. - Reverend Dosung Yoo

  

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sndesai1
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48. "don't agree with the original criticism but this was a lazy dumb respons..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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hardware
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50. "Life is short"
In response to Reply # 48


  

          

they had a room full of people wasting their time on this earth drawing every frame of an episode that didn't really need to exist.

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rorschach
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67. "Hari's point is sorta valid but I don't think The Simpsons needed to res..."
In response to Reply # 48


  

          

I can get why he would be offended by Apu (he is an Indian) but I think a lot of criticism falls into this category where people look at something from a past era with a different perspective.

I always thought it was assumed that Apu wasn't drawn up to be an offensive caricature. I've never really seen any episode that would lead me to believe that Apu's ethnicity was part of a joke.

But then again, I'm not Indian.
---------------------------------------


---------------------------------------

  

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mrhood75
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71. "Apu Trilogy Pt. 1 (LINK) "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

This is part 1 of a three-part take by a movie/video game/pop culture reviewer that I watch. This installment is about 15 minutes.

As he says in the video, this started out as a commentary on a blog piece about Lisa's character from over a month ago and then turned into something else after last weekend.

It's a good primer on his feeling about the Simpsons in general and how it's a difficult show to disucuss, mostly because something like it rarely exists in U.S. popular culture. And then delves in the nature of the show, Springfield, Lisa, and Apu.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGMnnrw70lA

-----------------

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It's the Hed Rush: http://hedrush.podomatic.com/
"We take rap serious, it's not a hobby to us."

  

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handle
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72. "I hope they murder Apu and his entire family"
In response to Reply # 71


          

That'll make everyone happy.

------------
My prayers have been answered!

Gone
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hardware
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87. "or maybe"
In response to Reply # 72


  

          

just watch the documentary instead

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flipnile
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94. "...by a black dude that's mad because Apu said something..."
In response to Reply # 72


  

          

...about his momma.

Either that, or he made his sandwich smaller than Homer's.

  

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Amritsar
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74. "okay so I watched the Problem With Apu"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Some thoughts as an Indian dude...





The worst part about Apu isn't the fact its Hank Azaria doing the voice. Or even the fact that the character was used at this weapon towards us.



The worst to me is the lingering effects it had on Hollywood and young Indian talent getting put on. Getting put on WITHOUT needing to do that goddamn accent or act like anything other than what we are.


Or for a whole new generation of Indians to have their "Apu"



Can't tell you how many times I've recently heard "Oh your name is Raj. Like on the Big Bang Theory!" Fuck all the way out of here.







_______________________________________________

  

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Damali
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76. "nailed it. white stereotypes don't block white opportunity"
In response to Reply # 74


          

  

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40thStreetBlack
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78. "petty & assholish response"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

and it wasn't even funny. like if you're gonna be a dick about it, at least be funny with it.

and did they really go with "Don't have a cow, Apu"? good grief.

<------- I'm God's lonely man

  

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Lurkmode
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85. "Hank Azaria on Colbert talking about Apu"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrlpU99lGzI


Hank Azaria: 'The Right Thing To Do' With Apu

'Brockmire' star Hank Azaria shares his thoughts on the controversy surrounding Apu, the Indian-American character he voices on 'The Simpsons.'

---------------------------
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handle
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88. "Don't bury it"
In response to Reply # 85


          

Hank Azaria says his "eyes have been opened" and he's willing to "step aside" from playing his controversial "Simpsons" character.

The actor appeared on Tuesday's episode of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and talked about the fallout surrounding the character he voices, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

"The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad," Azaria said. "It was certainly not my intention. I wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character and the idea that it's brought pain and suffering in any way, that it was used to marginalize people, it's upsetting."

he actor told Colbert he had nothing to do with the show's response, given that Apu doesn't speak during the episode. Azaria said he did not agree with the show's response to the controversy.
Azaria said he's given a great deal of thought to how to proceed and believes "the most important thing is to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country when they talk about what they feel and how they thing about this character."
He also called for more inclusion in "The Simpson's" writing room -- even if that means he no longer voices Apu.
"I really want to see Indian, South Asian writer, writers in the room, not in a token way but genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take, including how it is voiced or not voiced," Azaria said. "I'm perfectly willing and happy to step aside or help transition it into something new. I really hope that's what 'The Simpsons' does and it not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do to me."
CNN has reached out to "The Simpsons" for comment.

---
Personally I hope the kill Apu off instead of replacing voice actor. I'd say that for any of the major voices actors on the show including major characters played by Pamela Haybe and Tress McNeil.

------------
My prayers have been answered!

Gone
My Discogs collection for The Roots:
http://www.discogs.com/user/tomhayes-roots/collection

  

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Lurkmode
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89. "Don't stop with that"
In response to Reply # 88


  

          

They need to kill everyone and end the show.


>Personally I hope the kill Apu off instead of replacing voice
>actor. I'd say that for any of the major voices actors on the
>show including major characters played by Pamela Haybe and
>Tress McNeil.

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BrooklynWHAT
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90. "translation: i got too much money for these problems"
In response to Reply # 88


  

          

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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handle
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96. "Both replies de-incentivize engagement "
In response to Reply # 90


          

Their seems to be no possibility of going forward and changing, so I can see why many people refuse to engage.

------------
My prayers have been answered!

Gone
My Discogs collection for The Roots:
http://www.discogs.com/user/tomhayes-roots/collection

  

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