6. His name has become a racial slur
Actor Utkarsh Ambudkar appears in the documentary, to speak about when he was growing up he was bullied at school. Other kids called him “slushie boy”, which one of his friends had to explain to him. “He was like, ‘Dude, there’s this guy on this show. He runs a Kwik-E-Mart. ‘Thank you, come again!'”.
“It totally f*cked with my childhood,” adds Ambudkar, “You’re not going to catch me selling hot dogs or working at a 7-Eleven”.
7. The accent is offensive
Azaria says he got inspiration for the accent from Peter Seller’s character in The Party, and also the manager at his local 7-Eleven.
Even the inspiration looks pretty outdated nowadays.
In a 2007 radio interview, he revealed what the writers wanted from Apu’s character: “Right away they were like, ‘Can you do an Indian accent and how offensive can you make it?’ basically. I was like, ‘It’s not tremendously accurate. It’s a little, uh, stereotype,’ and they were like, ‘Eh, that’s all right'”.
Kumail Nanjiani is a comedian who was born in Pakistan, and he reveals what happens in audition rooms because of Apu: “I already have a Pakistani accent, but they want me to do ‘the Apu accent’. A lot of people think of that as being the go-to comedy Indian accent.”
8. His character is all surface, and there’s nothing much else to him apart from his stock catchphrases
“These images have impact. And it’s part of a larger legacy,” Kondabolu explains, “This has been there since the beginning, the idea of wearing out people and describing people in these one-dimensional ways. It gives you a sense of power over them. You’re better than they are, you’re smarter than they are. You’re the one who fits and they don’t.”
9. Older Indian immigrants are the real butt of the joke
Kondabolu claims that the character of Apu “was really going after people who are much more vulnerable, which are my parents, immigrants, and people who are able to control their image even less than we are”. Now that times have changed and other generations of immigrants have more influence like this, does Apu still have a place on TV?
10. The stereotypes are dangerous
The character of Apu is essentially making an entire race of people into the punchline of a joke, which isn’t right at all.
So what do you think? Should the character of Apu be retired off the show? Or should he continue to appear on The Simpsons? Let us know what you think with a COMMENT and don’t forget to SHARE this article with your cartoon-loving friends and family.