Apu, the Indian immigrant proprietor of the Kwik-E-Mart on The Simpsons, may be one of the show's most recognizable characters, but a new documentary is exploring the idea that Apu is a problematic South Asian stereotype and the internet has a lot to say about it.
Comedian and filmmaker Hari Kondabolu's upcoming documentary for truTV, The Problem With Apu, is set to explore the origins of iconic character as well as look at what he represents. The documentary features with Indian American entertainers, such as actor Kal Penn, as well as The Simpsons writer and co-executive producer Dana Gould.
However, while the documentary also touches on how The Simpsons -- which has always used biting social satire to expose American culture -- features many offensive stereotypes, the focus on Apu has both people agreeing as well as crying foul.
Read on for the internet's reactions to The Problem With Apu.
This character haunted my childhood. How many times was I mocked by classmates w/ phrases of his? Too many too count because Apu's ethnicity was the punchline. https://t.co/vrh3Xa5ssS— Aisha Saeed (@aishacs) November 12, 2017
"Apu is a racist stereotype."
Oh bore off. Literally *every* character in @TheSimpsons is an exaggerated stereotype. And that's kinda the point. What else do these worry-warriors expect from a cartoon comedy? Smh. pic.twitter.com/FKSs7w7C84— Marc Winsland (@Marc_Winsland) November 9, 2017
Exactly! If anything they make fun of the "Dumb fat lazy American" stereotype waaaaaay more often. I'm a Hindu and I've never seen Apu as a problem, they're actually fairly accurate which means they spent the time researching the faith.— Nines (@TmluZXM) November 12, 2017
I had an issue with Indian charicatures and racist jokes when I had low self-worth.
As I grew past my mid-20s, maturing both intellectually and emotionally, I realized that I - and only I - could make myself feel any way about anything.
I have no problem with Apu. pic.twitter.com/ZcaocLt8Os— Bunty King (@realbuntyking) November 12, 2017
All these people saying “what’s the big deal about Apu?” suddenly get quiet when I suggest inverting things and having every single primetime TV role be played by a South Asian actor for the next decade. If representation is no big deal, why do you object?— Anil Dash (@anildash) November 12, 2017