Man at His Best

Is Apu From The Simpsons An Offensive Stereotype?

Comedian Hari Kondabolu makes the case in a new documentary.

BY Louise McCreesh | Nov 15, 2017 | Film & TV

Getty Images + Fox/Contributor

Is Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from The Simpsons an offensive stereotype?

A documentary that will air on Sunday night (November 19) in the US asks exactly that question, exploring whether the representation of the Kwik-E-Mart shopkeeper is problematic to the South Asian community.

Titled The Problem With Apu, the documentary will follow lifelong Simpsons fan and comedian Hari Kondabolu as he investigates whether the character is an offensive and misleading embodiment of his own ethnicity.

Apu has been a staple on The Simpsons since the early 90s and despite moving to Springfield, is voiced by white actor Hank Azaria, which – according to Kondabolu – is an immediate problem.

"To imagine a white dude doing that voice, that was a torment," Kondabolu told NBC News.

"It was like bullying from behind the screen."

Getty Images + Michael N. Todaro/WireImage

During the documentary, Kondabolu talks to a number of friends and fellow comedians including Master of None star Aziz Ansari about their opinions of Apu.

And it seems most of them have endured at least one negative experience on behalf of the animated character.

Getty Images + FOX/Contributor

"I don't find Apu offensive, I find him annoying and insulting," Kondabolu added.

"But for me, one: It's inaccurate. Two: It's insulting to my parents. And three: When that's the only depiction you have, that's how the world sees you."

The Problem With Apu will air this Sunday (19 November) on TruTV. 

From: Digital Spy