Indian American comedian, Hari Kondabolu, takes a journalistic deep dive into The Simpsons character Apu to find out how and why this stereotypical character has managed to stick around for so long. The Problem With Apu is a documentary made by comedian Hari Kondabolu about the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons, an Indian convenience store owner. It really should be My problem with Apu. He later expanded the place and added a pizzeria, renaming it Famous Pizza and Deli. It was also the case that, in some cases, the kids were reflecting things they heard from their parents, which often did border on racism. Series will focus on politics, pop culture, race, religion, media and sex. Apu first appeared in 1990, in the episode “The Telltale Head.” Comedian Hari Kondabolu made a documentary called “The Problem With Apu,” which focuses on some issues with Apu, who for awhile was the only character of South Asian heritage to appear regularly on mainstream U.S. Television. A documentary that focuses on a dangerously legendary water park and its slew of injuries and crimes along with child safety concerns. The whole show(Not only Apu) is past its retirement age. Amid the controversy, I asked my father what he thought about Apu. Along similar lines, Pradheep Shanker, an Indian-American medical doctor living in the Midwest, wrote a piece for National Review pushing back against the entire argument against the Apu character: On the show, Apu is a strongly accented, traditional Indian immigrant. And racial caricatures can be problematic. “I don’t know who that is. They will also have to add a new acting voice to a show where the principal actors do a dozen or more voices each and have worked together literally for decades. Directed by Michael Melamedoff, the doc makes its primary case, has a … Is that bad? Torna alla scheda. Indeed, it seems to me that much of the “patanking” problem comes from this demand that characters be “representative.” As this post points out, Apu is representative. Hari Kondabolu Himself. ‘The Problem with Apu’ and the American immigrant stories that aren’t being told Aug 15, 2018 6:25 PM EST The title is misleading. However, therein lies the problem: over the years, the discussion of Apu promoting stereotypes and even being considered racist by some has come up time and time again. White Actors No Longer Voicing Cartoons of Color, The Voice Of Mr. Burns And Ned Flanders Is Leaving The Simpsons, Cubs Break 108 Year Old Drought, Win World Series. To be sure, Apu, like all of the characters on the show, has his moments of buffoonery, but none of it amounts in any significant way to racial animus. Model minority, bloody hell that’s searching hard for offence. Immigrant with racial angle caricature. So, you want to educate America about racial slights? In 1968, my father left Nadiad, a small town in the Indian state of Gujarat, for the United States at age 17. @Gustopher: yes a 2nd character, a relative, earlier immigrant or a local born (as in USA) cousin The problem wasn't with Apu, it was the fact that Apu was the ONLY indian/south asian tv portrayal. He appears to be the only competent person in Springfield. My Hindu parents threw a Christmas party every year for their employees at our house, where they served wine and Indian snacks like samosas and puris. But if you can’t, in good nature, laugh at the goodness and true comedic value of a character such as Apu . The producers and writers of The Simpsons are reportedly considering dropping one of its longest-lasting characters outside of the members of the core family due to concerns that it may be feeding into stereotypes about Indian-Americans: After a year of controversy surrounding the character of Apu, the hit animated show ‘The Simpsons’ may soon be dropping the character from the show. Kondabolu also pointed to the “don’t have a cow” line as a likely dig at Apu’s Hinduism, concluding, “. Season 1, Episode 1 TV-14 CC HD CC SD. So it appears they feel that quietly retiring this character is the right way to go. At the same time, though, I think that there’s a case to be made that, even taking all of those criticisms into account, Apu is actually one of the most positive and likable characters on The Simpsons and that, over time, he has become one of the most likable, positive characters on the show. I browsed the cooler and wondered what malt liquor or Bartles & Jaymes tasted like while I swigged orange Slice. Find out where The Problem With Apu is streaming, if The Problem With Apu is on Netflix, and get news and updates, on Decider. He’s not a bad person because he runs a convenience store. there is indeed I think a whiff of snobbery in there. One of the most biased documentaries I’ve ever seen. the problem that many people have is that these stereotypes are used for bullying. “I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” Shankar told IndieWire. The Problem with Apu 2017. Our voices are heard in the White House, the United Nations, Congress, and state houses across America. It takes a fantastic amount of intellectual gymnastics to blame such a character for any racial slights any of us Indians have experienced in our day-to-day lives. The Problem with Apu: New Simpsons documentary investigates beloved character's impact on Indian Americans. He returned to India to meet my mom, an arranged match. Add the first question. If Apu were equally superficially-drawn but he was an engineer rather than a convenience store owner, I think we’d be hearing less about it. God knows how he learned about Simpsons. If some Indian-Americans find him offensive, I am not going to argue with them about it. (Bustle … My hometown isn’t very far from the Scotch Plains, New Jersey store that his father operated in the 1970s and during the time I was growing up our community and several surrounding towns saw a huge influx of Indian-American immigrants. In retrospect, though, it’s obvious that some of it went too far. Besides that, other than Mindy Kalling most Indian-Americans are portraying a caricature, and that obviously annoys Asians. We litter the halls of academia, medicine, and even Hollywood now. I found – and still find – that criticism to be idiotic. Leaving aside whether the character itself is bad, it has been used for evil. Indian American comedian, Hari Kondabolu, takes a journalistic deep dive into The Simpsons character Apu to find out how and why this stereotypical character has managed to stick around for so long. Besides that, we are only discussing Apu because a then 35 year old dude made a film where he and other people that are over thirty(And some over forty) complain that were nicknamed Apu when they were children. Three weeks later, they married in Nadiad. Just like my dad, we’ve moved past Apu and the Kwik-E-Mart. We are currently the richest, most educated minority in America. In fifth grade, I became obsessed with “The Simpsons,” particularly Bart, who was my age. Whoopi Goldberg Herself. Hasan Minhaj Himself. Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton's improvisation hip-hop group, Freestyle Love Supreme and their reunion performances in New York City in 2019. Yes, like every character on the show, he’s a caricature. Dana Gould Himself. 2 years ago. The wave of immigrants also brought with it a wave of children who were enrolled in public schools in the area. Social media began buzzing on Friday when IndieWire published an interview with film producer Adi Shankar, who told the site that he had heard from several people close to “The Simpsons” that Apu would soon be dropped from the animated show. “I don’t know who that is. For example, he points to the fact that people yell catchphrases from the TV show at him during his comedy bits. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. After two decades he has become a husband, a father (of octuplets no less), volunteer firefighter, a successful businessman, and, to some extent, a friend of Homer and the rest of the gang at Moe’s Tavern. Apu is a caricature, and racial caricatures can be problematic(Some more than others). If Apu were equally superficially-drawn but he was an engineer rather than a convenience store owner, I think we’d be hearing less about it. In the history of “The Simpsons,” few characters outside the title family have had as much cultural impact as Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Springfield convenience store owner. Everybody and everybody’s parents talk in a different way, and that’s just reality for my kids and me now (even for this white boy who was raised in a small white town). The Problem With Apu Discussion Questions 1. Gas station life was rich. Season 1, Episode 1 TV-14 CC HD CC SD. A thorough examination of the infamous UFO cult through the eyes of its former members and loved ones. If Hank Azaria’s portrayal is considered offensive, hiring an Indian-American to do the same thing would be doubly offensive. In fact it can be hard to figure out how minorities are reacting when their reactions are overwhelmed by vociferous amen corners on social media that often don’t understand the issue at hand. Apu is university educated with a PHD, he is always portrayed as extremely intelligent, knows american history better than the US-born characters, Apu owns his own business (which he chooses to work at because he enjoys it and the people he meets, not because it's his only option or whatever other drivel people say), drives a flashy expensive car (pontiac firebird) with a nice huge house, and was the most eligible bachelor wanted by all the women in town. We’re stars, writers, directors and showrunners. But it sometimes happens that the minority involved is far less offended than the furious white people. As a writer and producer myself, the onus is now on me to tell our stories, create the characters and build the platforms that defy expectations of Indian Americans. It will have a an inevitable effect on the show itself. I live in a college town now and probably 60-70% of my kids’ friends are Asian. That’s already happening with Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Priyanka Chopra and others like Hannah Simone, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Tiya Sircar . The educational elite in this country (of both parties) condescend to working people. All Original Content Copyright © 2003-2019 by OTB. Even Apu's voice actor has now admitted it has caused damage. When the only representation of a minority is as a minor character, quickly killed, they can be perceived as not having value in their own right. As noted, this isn’t the first time that the controversy over Apu has come up. Jason Kempin via Getty Images Comedian Hari Kondabolu attends truTV Presents: 'The Problem With Apu' screening and reception on Nov. 14, 2017, in New York City. In a second case I was accused of ‘erasing Native American characters.’ The character (singular) in question was a throw-away, not even a secondary character but one step up from an extra. This comes after the release of activist-comedian Hari Kondabolu’s documentary, The Problem with Apu, which claimed the shopkeeper character, voiced by Hank Azaria, is a racist stereotype. Then he’s killed. If true, this sucks,” he tweeted. And the nature of the criticism left me no way forward – It’s absurd to insist that a throw-away character have a complete backstory work-up and page after page of cultural information squeezed into scenes that are not remotely about that character. In the comedic documentary "The Problem with Apu" (2017), South Asian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu confronts his long-standing “nemesis” Apu Nahasapeemapetilon – better known as the Indian convenience store owner on … I’ve had two of my characters questioned on similar grounds. One of the most biased documentaries I’ve ever seen. I thought about it and decided they had some weight to their argument. Comedian Hari Kondabolu confronts his cartoon nemesis, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian convenience store owner from The Simpsons (1989) and the larger issue of how Western culture depicts Southeast-Asian communities. For all the concern about cultural appropriation, some on the far left have no problem at all with appropriating outrage. The release of Kondabolu’s documentary nearly a year ago started a debate that has been going on for the better part of a year now, and it appears to be headed in a direction that will ultimately lead to an end to the character well before The Simpsons itself comes to an end. Sends Aham into a tailspin although probably hiring an Indian-American to do the same character I. Have is that he ’ s the kind of character that would not appear in a more serious fashion is... 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