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'The Simpsons' Actor Responds To Claims That 'Apu' Character Is Racist

Society as a whole is going to continue to advance, and there’s no stopping that. As that happens, things that were once considered to be perfectly fine can be subjected to additional scrutiny, and the results aren’t always pretty.

Using our own nation as an example, there are a ton of things in our collective history that would be regarded as completely outrageous and unacceptable today.

That applies on a smaller scale as well. For example, there are plenty of examples we can glean from the world of entertainment, as there are plenty of things that were once considered to be perfectly acceptable that are now considered to be taboo.

But when does that line of thinking cross the line and make it so that virtually everything is off limits? There are plenty of signs that suggest that day may come sooner rather than later, including this one.

As The Independent shares, quite a row has developed over the character ‘Apu’ from the long-running animated series ‘The Simpsons.’ Apu is the affable immigrant proprietor of the local Kwik-E-Mart, and it seems like he fits right in with the cast of characters in the Simpsons universe.

But does he really? By extension - isn’t the portrayal of this immigrant character a bit on the racist side?

That’s the premise of a recent documentary, “The Problem with Apu,’ which was the brainchild of Hari Kondabolu. A number of celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg, are featured in the documentary, and the general gist is that the character has helped to ingrain racial stereotypes into the minds of viewers.

Hank Azaria, the voice of Apu, has avoided commentary on the subject, but TMZ recently caught up with him and was able to get some thoughts.

“I think the documentary made some really interesting points and gave us a lot of things to think about and we really are thinking about it. Definitely anybody that was hurt or offended by it, or by any character or vocal performance, it’s really upsetting that it was offensive or hurtful to anybody,” Azaria said. “I think it’s an important conversation worth having. We’re still thinking about it. It’s a lot to digest.”

So does that mean the Apu character is going by the wayside? That’s unclear at the moment, but Azaria’s heartfelt thoughts make it sound as if that’s a possibility.

While Azaria took the time to offer up a rather sincere answer, that apparently wasn’t good enough for Kondabolu, who proceeded to blast him on social media.

“Apu doesn’t “offend” me, he “insults” me...and my community. I’m an adult with bigger things to deal with,” he wrote. “My film was meant to tell you to go f*** yourself & discuss why I want you to go f*** yourself & how we can prevent future incidents of people wishing others “self-f***ery.”

Oh. So you speak for the ‘community’ as a whole while dropping a barrage of f-bombs? Additionally, how can one claim to be ‘an adult with bigger thing to deal with’ when you were the one that started the conversation in the first place?

Perhaps there’s really not all that much the matter with Apu, but a gander in the mirror may help Kondabolu figure out what the real problem is.

Source: TMZ, Independent
Photos: YouTube, The Ford Foundation/Wikimedia

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