In “The Problem With Apu,” which debuted last month on truTV, comedian Hari Kondabolu confronts the problem of the depiction of Kwik-E Mart convenience store owner Apu in “The Simpsons.” He pointed to the show’s continued exploitation of Indian stereotypes, despite it being the only representation of South Asians on television. Since then, Hank Azaria, who voices Apu, has been questioned about the show’s racial stereotyping.
In a recent interview with TMZ, Azaria said that he thinks “the documentary made some really interesting points and gave us a lot to think about and we really are thinking about it.”
He continued: “Definitely anybody who was hurt or offended by it, by any character or vocal performance, it’s really upsetting that that was hurtful to anybody. And I think it’s an important conversation, and one definitely worth having, so thanks for asking.”
Though there has been nothing said by “The Simpsons” team, Kondabolu suggested that instead of removing Apu from the show that they develop him as a character.
“Killing him is lazy writing & an insult to the show’s legacy,” Kondabolu wrote on Twitter. “Let him be upwardly mobile & own multiple Qwik E Marts. Let his kids talk. Plots have been repeating for years & tweaks provide tons of new stories.”
To @TheSimpsons Writers: Please do NOT remove Apu from The Simpsons. Killing him is lazy writing & an insult to the show’s legacy. Let him be upwardly mobile & own multiple Qwik E Marts. Let his kids talk. Plots have been repeating for years & tweaks provide tons of new stories.
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) December 4, 2017
The documentary debuted on Nov. 19 on truTV and can be seen on VOD.
Watch the trailer for “The Problem with Apu” below: