The Simpsons Showrunner Addresses Apu Backlash

Elias Hubbard
April 16, 2018

This was quickly followed by a shot of a signed photo of Apu, who had written, "Don't have a cow, man".

Recent Simpsons episode No Good Read Goes Unpunished addressed the documentary's topics - seeing Marge read Lisa her "favourite book" but having to update the old stereotypes so it's less offensive to modern ears.

In the meantime, "The Simpsons" has a big milestone coming up when it airs its 636th episode on Sunday, April 29th, when the show will break the record that's been held by "Gunsmoke" for more than 40 years to become the longest-running scripted primetime series on television.

Retweeting a pro-Apu article from the National Review, Jean drew a quick commenter response: "99% of the press you got was bad". "[We] will continue to try to find an answer that is popular & more [importantly] right". Marge added that, "Some things will be addressed at a later date", and Lisa bluntly said, "if at all".

Kondabolu tweeted, among other observations about the scene, "Wow". Man, I really loved this show. In another tweet, he wrote, "In 'The Problem with Apu, ' I used Apu & The Simpsons as an entry point into a larger conversation about the representation of marginalized groups & why this is important. The Simpsons response tonight is not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress". But a comedian who helped spark a conversation about the character calls the show's response "sad" and attacked the show on Twitter for reducing a discussion about racism to political correctness.

Jean also retweeted a fan's assessment of one way the show should have handled it. Why not take any of the creative changes being suggested out there that would tweak him enough to solve this issue?

Asked by a commenter why hiring another actor besides Azaria (presumably meaning an Indian actor) is "such an issue?", Jean said, "It's not". We tried bringing in Utkarsh Ambudkar as Apu's nephew [in 2016 episode "Much Apu About Something"].

As a result, exec producer Al Jean engaged with fans on Twitter, and he's promising to try and come up with a solution that won't anger fans.

Until now, he had refused to respond to the criticism, saying instead that the producers would prefer the episode "speak for itself".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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