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article imageOp-Ed: Dropping Apu on the Simpsons – No thanks

By Paul Wallis     Oct 28, 2018 in Lifestyle
Portland - The Simpsons have said they’re going to drop the Apu character due to the controversy about Apu as a stereotype/nitpicking about 20 year old satire problem. Why give these hacks any mileage?
The problem with Apu started as (get this) with “representing a South Asian character”. Exactly how pompous can you get? Then, even worse, there was a “white guy” doing the role. Hence the highly debated, and not entirely set in stone massive upheaval among fans.
Wow. Revelation. Stop the presses, which is exactly what they did, after decades of Apu as a fixture, member of the B Sharps, and Kwikie Mart outcast, among other things. Told he was going to be a sacrificial goat (may have been lamb) after Homer’s food poisoning, Apu asked, “….And if I can obtain for you this animal?”, which has to be one of the all time driest lines in comedy history.
This great and always interesting character is being dropped in the name of what, humourless drivel? To say that this furore about how Indians, or “not Indian” as Apu was originally defined, is inconsistent would be an understatement.
Let’s lose the “white guys” stuff for a minute, without bothering to mention the absurd 20 year gap between incidents and giving offense:
• Does it matter if Apu is Indian, Tamil, or whatever? The guy works in a convenience store, and you want a social role model? Come off it.
• Where and what is the scope for some idealistic portrayal of anyone or anything in a convenience store? This is satire, for god’s sake. The Simpsons is a series of takes on modern “life” (talk about satire) and that’s it.
• It’s like some sort of Pedants For A Better Last Century exercise. This is how you represent “South Asians” (what a bloody insult to thousands of years of history of dozens or hundreds of cultures) and the best you can do is fail to define the basic issues beyond calling it racist?
What possible purpose does it serve to nitpick about this? If an Indian was playing Apu, using exactly the same lines, would that be OK? If so, why? This entire argument goes nowhere in any possible scenario of an “acceptable” Apu.
A less impressive, if that’s possible, argument –Is someone saying it’s taken an entire generation to figure out what they think about it? Which is more insulting to “South Asians”, the character, or this belated, half-witted, totally bogus attempt at taking offense at what is basically nothing?
Never mind dropping Apu, drop the subject. It’s not a good look.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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