‘Simpsons’ Documentary ‘The Problem With Apu’ to Re-Air After Controversy
The Simpsons re-ignited controversy around the show’s portrayal of Apu, and The Problem isn’t going away. TruTV will re-air comedian Hari Kondabolu’s The Problem With Apu on Sunday, and even pit it against its inspiration.
Per TVLine, TruTV confirms that 2017 documentary The Problem With Apu will air on Sunday at 7:00 P.M., just before a new episode of The Simpsons airs on FOX. The re-broadcast is notably responding to this past Sunday’s “No Good Read Goes Unpunished,” which likened a politically incorrect children’s book to Kondabolu’s documentary exploring The Simpsons’ decades-long portrayal of South Asian stereotypes. The episode uncharacteristically featured Lisa shrugging off how “something that started out decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect,” before panning to a framed photo of Apu.
#TheSimpsons completely toothless response to @harikondabolu #TheProblemWithApu about the racist character Apu:
“Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect… What can you do?” pic.twitter.com/Bj7qE2FXWN
— Soham (@soham_burger) April 9, 2018
The scene drew widespread criticism, particularly as Marge and Lisa doubt the matter “will be dealt at a later time.” Shortly after the episode aired, Kondabolu wrote over Twitter “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.” More recently, the comedian added that the show’s use of Lisa to deliver their response betrayed her character:
For its part, FOX deferred to the series over any criticism, claiming producers wanted the episode to “speak for itself.” Writer and executive producer Al Jean also brushed off the controversy on social media; retweeting praise about the scene rather than issue any response. Neither cast member Yeardley Smith (Lisa) nor Hank Azaria (Apu) have commented, despite Azaria’s suggestion last year The Problem With Apu made an impression on writers.
You can watch a trailer for The Problem With Apu below, and catch the full documentary on Sunday.
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