Did the series' creators do the right thing?
The resilient and beloved animated series The Simpsons has continually enraptured audiences across many generations with their constant source of comedic stylings and an unforgettable cast of characters. However, some view the characterization of Apu, the manager of Springfield's Kwik-E-Mart, is a stereotypical portrayal of South Asians that is persistent throughout Western media.
The Problem with Apu, a documentary by comedian Hari Kondabolu that premiered last November, examines how this specific portrait of a convenience store employee is steeped in a problematic history of normalizing unfavourable traits and "truths."
During last night's episode, The Simpsons decided to face these racially-insensitive claims, which has left some viewers scratching their heads in confusion. During a conversation had between Marge and Lisa, the brainy middle-child can be heard telling her mother "something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?" The camera then pans over to a framed image of Apu on Lisa's nightstand with the phrase "Don't Have a Cow" written on top. Lisa and Marge stare directly into the camera during this awkward moment, specifically addressing the viewer in an confrontational manner.
People have taken to Twitter to discuss their disappointment with the show's creators' for how they handled this issue.