The Simpsons responds to the controversy surrounding Apu

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In November last year, comedian Hari Kondabolu released a documentary called The Problem With Apu which used the famous Simpsons character to start a discussion about the representation of marginalised groups. In the film, he speaks with prominent figures of Indian heritage, including Aziz Ansari and Kal Penn, to see how catchphrases like Apu's "Thank you, come again" have affected their lives. He also offered insight into how The Simpsons could have address the matter, for example by letting Apu find success and own a chain of Kwik-E-Marts.

In the end, the documentary gained so much attention that it seemed inevitable The Simpsons would address it, and now they finally have. In a new episode called "No Good Read Goes Unpunished", Marge is struggling to edit an old children's book to make it politically correct. "Well, what am I supposed to do?" she asks Lisa. "It’s hard to say. Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?" replies Lisa, turning to a framed photo of Apu. Both characters look down the camera at the viewer. "Some things will be dealt with at a later date," says Marge. "If at all," adds Lisa.

It's fair to say this throwaway "Pff, what can you do?" response hasn't exactly gone down well. "Wow. Politically Incorrect? That’s the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad," responded Kondabolu on Twitter.

"The people who are the target of it taking a while to find their voices doesn't mean that 'became' offensive. It always was," replied another user on Twitter. "Political correctness = common decency. It's not about politics, it's about humanity."

You can watch the clip for yourself above.

Image courtesy of The Simpsons/Fox

Tags: the simpsons