It’s just a shame it took this long, really.
Last night, while appearing on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, Hank Azaria—one of the main voices on The Simpsons, and the man behind Apu Nahasapeemapetilon—responded directly to the controversy that has been swirling around the show’s principal Indian character in recent months.
Azaria called on the show’s creators to listen to the criticisms raised by comedian Hari Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem With Apu and the conversation that has followed in its wake.
In sharp contrast to the show itself, which saw fit to address the nuanced points and sensitive issues with a blunt, fourth-wall-breaking negation, Azaria actually made an effort to speak to the matter at hand:
I think the most important thing is to listen to Indian people and their experience with it. Listening to voices means inclusion in the writers room. I really want to see Indian, south Asian writers in the writers room, genuinely informing whichever direction this character takes. I’m perfectly willing to step aside. It just feels like the right thing to do to me.
Here is the clip in question:
Kondabolu responded to Azaria’s statement on Twitter:
.@TheSimpsons I truly appreciate all responses pro and con. Will continue to try to find an answer that is popular & more important right— Al Jean (@AlJean) April 13, 2018
Bearing in mind that that tweet was posted after Lisa effectively dismissed the issue in the aforementioned No Good Read Goes Unpunished episode, we can only speculate on what the efforts being made at finding the ‘right and popular’ answer entails.