How should The Simpsons have handled the Apu controversy?

comeau

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I didn't say that she would say anything, but I know what she did say is against her established character
 

pax

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Lisa has always been the progressive one, how is it not wildly out of character for her to suddenly be all "PC GONE MAD" out of nowhere
 

Traviud

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Apu managed to offend one massive ethnic group, but the absolute butchering of Lisa's character should offend everyone else.
 
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In a very broad sense, I agree with those who say that the Simpsons were at their best when they were willing to offend and challenge the status quo. The Mirkin years were a great example of this being done exceptionally well, paired with great character writing.

But is that the show the Simpsons is today? Nope. The show has embraced its role as an institution and settled into a comfortable rut. It hasn't been radical in decades. So what place do they have doubling down on this Apu controversy? South Park could pull it off because they own that kind of writing, but the Simpsons' writers don't have any convenient excuse for being churlish.

Personally, I think Apu is fundamentally a racist caricature that somehow became one of the most admirable characters on the show. He's one of the few legitimately decent human beings in Springfield, so it shouldn't take a lot of work to emphasize that.

I think the issue isn't just that the show has lost its radicalism, but that the circumstances have changed. The 'classic era' worked so well because it challenged the prevailing religious right/conservative consensus of the time - 'Just Say No', rampant homophobia and everyone and their pets listening to the likes of Rush Limbaugh. Nowadays we have a progressive consensus. Yes, we have the Trump administration, but it feels increasingly like a 'last roll of the dice' from the hardcore reactionaries, and criticising it is very much the norm in the media. This is a marked difference from the two Bush administrations - remember when Michael Moore was booed at the Oscars ceremony (of all places) for speaking out against the 2003 Iraq War?

The Simpsons has made almost no secret of being left-leaning from its outset. When it began, virtually no one would have predicted that the United States would have same-sex marriage and the first African-American president within thirty years. Liberalism is so much more 'normal' now than it was in 1989, and The Simpsons and its writing team (yes, despite this recent controversy) remains liberal, by and large. Comedy, however, is undeferential by its very nature, and The Simpsons no longer comes across as being undeferential. This is, as you state, in large part due to its reformation to a cosy established kind of show - it could still be radical and edgy if it wished to be so (and indeed a lot of other long-running comedy outlets remain so), and no, it doesn't need to become alt right or whatever to be so. But (as has often been noted) the bulk of the show's profitability comes not from the show itself but from the wider franchise. This was perhaps the case even in the earliest days but the runners of the show seem to be content with this now.
 
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flashbeagle

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the show has always made fun of everyone and everything right left etc this hasn't changed. there was the recent ish episode were they made fun of sjws in that burns university episode for example
 

biffwestwood

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im very disappointed in hank azaria right now saying he's willing to step down etc :-/

His reaction only says he is willing to maybe "do away" with voicing Apu, but whether the character is continued with or without Azaria for future episodes is only the decision of the writers.
 

comeau

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maybe azaria will step down from doing the voice and they can hire an Indian actor for the role. win win.
 

flashbeagle

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maybe azaria will step down from doing the voice and they can hire an Indian actor for the role. win win.

for you it is for everyone else that actually likes the show lose lose and hank azaria stepping down would be a loss and be sad to see happen to a character i and many others like and enjoy already
 

flashbeagle

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yes i would notice how could i not? they would most likely change his personality his voice to appease the few and i hope they don't do that my opinion
 

Snowball 666

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Hank's been kinda saying stuff like this since that "comedian" first started whining about Apu a few years ago. Azaria doesn't really care about the issue enough either way. He just wants his paycheck. (Can't say I blame him.) As it stands now, FOX wants him playing Apu. If FOX changes their mind, he'll gladly leave.

They should just remove Apu from the show in the most horrible, humiliating, infuriating manner, like how South Park got rid of Chef, and then at the end of the episode write "Send all complaints to:" and put that Hari guy's contact info.

although the best solution is just kill the show entirely but yknow
Can't argue with you there.
 

comeau

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yes i would notice how could i not? they would most likely change his personality his voice to appease the few and i hope they don't do that my opinion

do you object to the wild variance marge's voice has undertaken over the years? the character doesn't sound anything like she used to. granted this is solely because kavner is old as dirt, but still.

I think you are just whining to whine
 

comeau

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his personality lmao. does he really have any personality these days, with how poor the shows writing is? during this whole ordeal I've had the misfortune of seeing numerous clips of that recent episode with him and his cousin and he's just as devoid of personality now as every other character on the show.
 

flashbeagle

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do you object to the wild variance marge's voice has undertaken over the years? the character doesn't sound anything like she used to. granted this is solely because kavner is old as dirt, but still.

I think you are just whining to whine

okay you have a point about marge's voice it does sound different than it used to sound's a bit rough in comparison to the classic years I've also noticed this so no i don't object it's true about marge's voice. and no im not whining about this just disagreeing and talking about all of this ps i also think apu does have a personality as well as the others not always written well though like in lisa goes gaga "shudder"
 
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You're missing the point, its not that the actor is changing that's the issue, it's that a staffer has bent the knee to an angry mob. Its not nice seeing a show you love being bullied by a vocal minority (twitter activists).
 

pax

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A minority group (actual, real Indian people) voicing displeasure with a racial stereotype they have firsthand experience with = bullying? Lol what

The lengths y'all will go to defend this is embarrassing
 

comeau

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imagine when the worst you have to worry about is your favorite cartoon being "bullied" on a social media site. I'm sure people of Indian descent wish that's all they had to deal with in their lives
 

Igor

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Pretty solid response by him
Def shows some understanding/empathy
Obviously much better than the shows response
 

Snowball 666

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A minority group (actual, real Indian people) voicing displeasure with a racial stereotype they have firsthand experience with = bullying? Lol what

No, one or two Indian-American whiners on Twitter (out of a population of 1.6 billion Indian people) and a mob of mostly white liberal millennial snowflakes.
 

Dobbie

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No, one or two Indian-American whiners on Twitter (out of a population of 1.6 billion Indian people) and a mob of mostly white liberal millennial snowflakes.

That's an amazingly narrow view of the situation. It's dismissive and lacks evidence that it is a small issue created by one or two people.

Speak up with facts next time.
 
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