The Simpsons addresses Apu stereotypes

The Simpsons has laterally addressed criticism that the depiction of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has been a negative stereotypes of Indian immigrants.

The episode “No Good Read Goes Unpunished” Marge reads a story, The Princess in the Garden, to Lisa, but self-edits with a politically-correct story for 2018.

However Lisa finds the story lacking in an “emotional journey” for the central character.

Both then make reference to Apu, with Lisa looking at a picture of him, saying “something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”

The Simpsons has been running since 1989, nearly three decades of generational change.

Hank Azaria has previously said, “Definitely anybody that was hurt or offended by it, or by any character or vocal performance, it’s really upsetting that it was offensive or hurtful to anybody.”

The episode is due to air in Australia on 7mate.

Source: Hollywood Reporter


  1. Right. It took over 20 years for The Simpsons to include openly Muslim characters on the show (and it was only a once-off, even though the father and son in the family were played by the regular cast) and surprise, surprise, they whip out the T card, and even though it turns out that they were innocent, it still perpetuated the same horrible stereotypes that are in no way amusing.

    The stereotype of Apu being ridiculously hard working should, if anything, be considered a humbling one (and I’ve met my share of ridiculously hard working Indian people). The thing that ruined Apu in my eyes was him having an affair back in season 13. Similarly, Ned fornicated the following season, demonstrating just how out of touch the current writers are with these characters.

  2. Armchair Analyst

    I personally feel that there is a kernel of truth to Apu’s stereotype. That doesnt mean that his a typical indian-american character. Apu has evolved overthe years. He has done more than most characters on the show. What about reverend Lovejoy who is the same borring character constantly lecturing the rest of the town, or Montgomery Burns who is the architype or stereotype villiany billionare who only care about himself. If you were to get rid of stereotypes than the show would be finished. We have to be careful when we get outraged. What about Cookie Kwan (Number 1 one the west side). I remember when Apu tried to fit in more by developing a more western drawl accent when Prop 24 was happening. i agree that more often than not the writers have gotten lazy but we have to be careful not to suck all creativity because some get outraged.

  3. As I’m now middle aged, does this mean i’m finally allowed to be morally outraged by the overweight middle aged white male stereotype represented by Homer Simpson?

    I wonder if anyone from India actually complained?

  4. That’s clever and funny, not bad for a show that’s actually no longer funny. There is no reason to change Apu, why rewrite history just for those people who seek out a way to be offended every day?

      • I think he has in a way – he got married, became a father, had an affair… The humor about him seems to be based more on those elements rather than the fact that he is Indian, and based around Indian stereotypes, in more recent seasons.

      • Why? To satisfy a group of perpetually offended people who have never had any intention of watching the show? Who just want to change it for their own smug satisfaction – that they’ve ruined something that people have loved for years because they dont like it?

        Oh please – this is TV. If you dont like something, turn off the TV or change the channel.

      • If the character changes, then they run the risk of delivering the message that anyone who actually is like Apu (stereotype or not) is inherently flawed and needs to be “improved”. There are people like Apu in the real world. What message does this discussion send to them? That it’s wrong to be that way? I’m certain the creators are upset by any offence caused, but I’m not sure that changing the character is the way to address any perceived issues.

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