'The Simpsons' creator Matt Groening is 'proud' of Apu

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 22, 2021, 05:33 PM(IST)

The Simpsons Photograph:( Twitter )

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The Apu Nahasapeemapetilon character has not been seen on the show since the casting controversy, but Groening insists he has not been forgotten.

'The Simpsons' has always been under fire for its depiction of diverse characters, notably, South-Asian Apu. The show faced a bit of reckoning last year, when fans called it out for making white actors voice diverse characters, including Hank Azaria voicing the stereotypical Indian character Apu.

While the show addressed the controversy by announcing they would no longer have white actors voice non-white roles, in an interview with USA Today, series creator Matt Groening said that he's still 'proud' of what they did with Apu.

The Apu Nahasapeemapetilon character has not been seen on the show since the casting controversy, but Groening insists he has not been forgotten.

"We've got plans for Apu, but we have to see if we can make the stories work," Groening said in the interview. Apu has always been criticised by the critics for perpetuating stereotypes, though Groening doesn't see it that way.

"I think the Apu stories are fantastic, and he's one of the most nuanced characters on a silly two-dimensional cartoon show," Groening said "So, yeah, I'm proud of Apu. I'm trying not to open up another chasm of criticism, but it doesn't matter what I say. I'll get it anyway," he added.

Groening also clarified that the decision to remove all white actors voicing non-white roles wasn't his idea but he agreed with it.

'It was not my idea, but I'm fine with it. Who can be against diversity? So it's great. However, I will just say that the actors were not hired to play specific characters. They were hired to do whatever characters we thought of,' Groening said

He was also asked about a 2018 interview where he spoke about the culture of people taking offense, and if he still feels the same way.

"I have to word this carefully. I think audiences are smarter than the posse gives them credit for, and people can handle nuance, except for the ones who can't handle nuance," Groening said.

"And then there's that phrase, something them if they can't take a joke," he added.

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