Saturday, November 17

Documentary tackles the origin of Apu

Apu

Is Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from The Simpsons a racial stereotype? That’s the question with a rather obvious answer that comedian Hari Kondabolu tackles in his new feature-length documentary The Problem With Apu.

In the film, Kondabolu looks at “how this controversial caricature was created, burrowed its way into the hearts and minds of Americans and still continues to exist even after twenty-eight years.

The documentary adds the perspectives of numerous South Asians in the entertainment industry including Aziz Ansari, Kal Penn, Aasif Mandvi, and Aparna Nancherla, as well as others like Whoopi Goldberg, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Simpsons writer/producer Dana Gould, and W. Kamau Bell, who tweeted the following last night:

One of the documentary’s key points is that Apu was among the very few representations of a person of South Asian background on American television in the late-’80s and early-’90s:

One of the documentary’s key points is that Apu was among the very few representations of a person of South Asian background on American television in the late-’80s and early-’90s: