The Problem With Criticizing Apu

Image result for apu azaria

I haven't watched The Simpsons since, oh gosh I don't know, Season 11, I think? It's now on its 25th season, but, goddammit if that stretch they had between 1990-2000 wasn't one of the finest in TV history, right up there with Seinfeld, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad.
The general consensus is that there was one episode in which everything changed, and that was "The Principal And The Pauper," (Season 9) where we learn that Principal Skinner isn't actually Principal Skinner at all, but is actually an imposter, completely rewriting years and years of back-story for characters we've known and loved. Some believe the Frank Grimes episode of Season eight was the downfall. Who know, all I know is that the show changed when many of its core writers left.

However, over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of debate over the character of Apu. You see folks, we live in an age when social media is the mainstream filter to bitch and moan about things we wouldn't have bitched and moaned about in the '90s. The gist of it is that the "problematic nature" of Apu, brought to light by a ridiculous documentary called “The Problem with Apu,” has had Simpsons' creators and Hank Azaria, who voices Apu, in a bit of a fender-bender.

It didn't help that the show all but brushed the issue and mocked it in a recent episode. No surprise, SJW's all over social media were none-too-pleased.
Azaria, must suck to be him at the moment,was interviewed by Stephen Colbert, and tried to be as politically-correct about the controversy, claiming he understands it and how his mindset over the character has changed because of it. Blah.
“I have given this a lot of thought, and as I say my eyes have been opened. I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country when they talk about what they feel, how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it has been,” said Azaria.
“Listening to voices means inclusion in the writer’s room. I really want to see Indians, South Asian writers in the room. Not in a token way, but genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take. Including how it is voiced, or not voiced,” he continued.

"I’m perfectly willing and happy to step aside,” Azaria said. “Or help transition it into something new. I really hope that’s what ‘The Simpsons’ does, it not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do to me.”
Oh, gimme a break. 

Filmmaker and comedian Hari Kondabolu, who created the film “The Problem with Apu” tweeted his approval to Azaria's comments. “Thank you, @HankAzaria. I appreciate what you said & how you said it.”
You know what The Simpsons should do? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.The idea of a white man voicing an Indian character that runs a convenience store seems to be triggering a lot of sensitive and, let me say it, weak people. 

Want to know the hypocrisy of the situation? Half the Indian comedians out there today speak like Apu. Apparently they like the stereotype only when there is no convenience store involved and the voice actor isn't white. Do you think half those Indian comics would be successful if they weren't exploiting those stereotypes themselves? Could you imagine if we started asking Indians to talk "proper English", to not be offensive to Indians?

Take for example Karan Soni, the guy who plays the taxi driver in "Deadpool," did the director force him to do the stereotypical indian cab driver schtick? I've met Soni, he doesn't sound like that at all. 

Here's an email I received from an Indian friend:

" I won't be watching the Simpsons anymore if this happens. Apu is a legend. Who are these idiots getting offended by a cartoon character?"