'The Simpsons' Receives Backlash Over Controversial Apu Stereotype Response

In an episode titled 'No Good Read Goes Unpunished', the show featured Marge and Lisa subtly talking about the portrayal of Apu, the Kwik-E-Mart manager.

AceShowbiz - In the wake of critism of "The Simpsons" portrayal of character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon which was deemed to push negative South Asian stereotypes, the long-running comedy briefly addressed the controversy in the Sunday, April 8 episode. Instead of putting down the controversy, it caused more controversy.

Titled "No Good Read Goes Unpunished", the episode saw Marge and Lisa subtly talking about the portrayal of Apu, the Kwik-E-Mart manager. In the said scene, Marge had edited a new version of "The Princess in the Garden" so that it would be acceptable and suitable for Lisa.

"This new Clara sounds like she starts out pretty perfect," Lisa said to her mom, voicing out her displeasement of the new edited version of the book. "But since she's already evolved, she doesn't really have an emotional journey to complete… Kinda means there's no point to the book." Marge responded, "Well, what am I supposed to do?"

"It's hard to say," said Lisa before turning to the camera. "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?" Later, she looked at a nearby picture of Apu with Bart's catchphrase, "Don't have a cow!"

Twitterverse were enraged following the episode, with some people dubbing it "callous" and dismissive. "Wow. 'Politically Incorrect?' That's the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad," comedian Hari Kondabulu, who slammed the show's portrayal of Apu in a documentary called "The Problem With Apu", wrote.

He added, "In 'The Problem with Apu,' I used Apu & The Simpsons as an entry point into a larger conversation about the representation of marginalized groups & why this is important. The Simpsons response tonight is not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress."

Also criticizing the Fox cartoon was comedian and TV personality W. Kamau Bell. He tweeted, "I think the fact that they put this 'argument' in the mouth of Lisa's character, the character who usually champions the underdogs and is supposed to be the most thoughtful and liberal, is what makes this the most ridiculous (as in worthy of ridicule) and toothless response."

Meanwhile, Al Arabiya English journalist William Mullally wrote, "The Simpsons response to The Problem with Apu: a callous and resentful shrug."

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