Political correctness may have finally caught up with “The Simpsons,” the iconoclastic cartoon show that has never seen a social convention it couldn’t shatter. The show may finally be crossing a line with Kwik-E-Mart character Apu.
Hank Azaria, the actor who voices the character, has confirmed that Apu may be history because some may deem the character “offensive.”
Apu’s fate is being debated right now, he said.
The issue was brought to a head by a recent documentary “The Problem With Apu.” Documentarian Hari Kondabolu claims the character plays off “racial stereotypes.”
“I think the documentary made some really interesting points and gave us a lot at ‘The Simpsons’ to think about, and we really are,” Azaria told gossip site TMZ.
So far, Apu’s fate is up in the air. “I think it’s an important conversation and one we’re definitely having,” Azaria explained.
“We’re just really thinking… it’s a lot to digest.”
Apu is an Indian immigrant, who holds a Ph.D. in computer science, but would rather work at the convenience store.
Azaria’s characterization has faced criticism off and on for years. Among some of the issues are Apu’s occupation, his arranged marriage and the fact that he’s had so many children.
In 2013, Azaria said the character was unlikely to change or be written out of the show.
“I’d be surprised if [the show’s writers] write him any less frequently because he’s offensive,” he told HuffingtonPost.
Kondabolu announced his documentary last year and interviewed other actors and comics of South Asian descent to discuss the character’s impact on them.
The documentary was released earlier this month on the TruTV network.
Check out a trailer below and a Simpson’s scene feature Apu.
Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest culture news.