To many, Apu in The Simpsons is offensive. To me, he's my dad

A slow-brewing controversy over the longest-running television show in history came to a head a few weeks ago. In his documentary, The Problem With Apu, Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu called The Simpsons character, Apu, voiced by American actor Hank Azaria, a racist stereotype - "a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father".

The show responded. At the end of the April 8 episode, Marge is reading to Lisa when she realises that the book, The Princess In The Garden, is full of stereotypes. She censors herself and asks: "What am I supposed to do?" Lisa looks into the camera and replies: "It's hard to say. Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 29, 2018, with the headline 'To many, Apu in The Simpsons is offensive. To me, he's my dad'. Print Edition | Subscribe