The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has once again responded to the criticisms surrounding character Apu following from the release of US documentary The Problem With Apu.
The film followed comedian and Simpsons fan Hari Kondabolu as he explored the potentially problematic nature of the shop-owner and whether or not he promotes a racist stereotype of Indian immigrants.
“I love Apu. I love the character, and it makes me feel bad that it makes other people feel bad,” he said when speaking to the New York Times. “But on the other hand, it’s tainted now — the conversation, there’s no nuance to the conversation now. It seems very, very clunky. I love the character. I love the show.”
He goes on to explain that he didn’t intend to promote any sort of stereotype with Apu, explaining that he was actually inspired by his love of Asian culture. The name, he says, comes from the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray, which he thought might show there was a “scholarly intention”.
As well as being strongly criticised, the character has also been defended by many fans of the show, who saw Apu as an inspirational entrepreneur and family man. The Simpsons initially responded to the documentary with the below clip:
Wow. “Politically Incorrect?” That’s the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad. https://t.co/lYFH5LguEJ
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) April 9, 2018