Oh Matt Groening, No
Let’s backtrack, briefly: Last November, comedian Hari Kondabolu released the documentary The Problem With Apu, which highlighted and addressed many of the racist stereotypes associated with The Simpsons’ character.
Eventually, The Simpsons addresses the documentary on the show, but the response was … not good. From Kayleigh’s piece:
Marge reads Lisa a bedtime story, one that’s come to be considered offensive with the passing of time. Then, turning to the camera, Lisa says, ‘Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?’ She moves to her bedside table, where a framed picture of Apu sits, with the line ‘Don’t have a cow!’ written on it. Marge’s response is, ‘Some things will be dealt with at a later date.’ Lisa ends it with, ‘If at all.’
The social media response to the response was also … not good. But, Hank Azaria went on The Late Show last week, and handled the situation really well, telling Colbert:
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.
So, after the guy who voices the character agrees that the depiction of Apu is insensitive and that he’d even be willing to step aside, surely The Simpsons creator Matt Groening will finally to see the light, right? RIGHT?
Here’s Groening when asked what he thought of Apu as a stereotype:
“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.”
Dude, no. Just because you aren’t offended by a stereotype you created of other people doesn’t mean that those other people aren’t. Don’t fucking dismiss them. When someone says that something is bothering them, listen, try to understand the situation from their perspective, and act accordingly. Don’t be an obstinate heel.
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