On Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons, “No Good Read Goes Unpunished,” Marge and Lisa Simpson indirectly addressed the renewed Apu controversy that was recently discussed by Hari Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem with Apu. Despite actor Hank Azaria’s unwillingness to speak on camera with the comedian about the show’s problematic Kwik-E-Mart sales clerk, he subsequently claimed The Simpsons would “definitely” address the matter at a future date. Said date came three months later during Sunday’s episode, but judging by the reactions of Kondabolu and others, it wasn’t what fans and critics were hoping for.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the scene in question concerned Marge’s reading an edited version of the book The Princess in the Garden to Lisa before bedtime. The children’s book has been culled to make it “acceptable and inoffensive in 2018,” but this results in a story that “is much shorter and lacking in an ’emotional journey’ for the central character.” That’s when, by why of a framed photograph of Apu on Lisa’s bedside table, The Simpsons turns its attention to the issues raised by Kondabolu and other critics.
MARGE: Well what am I supposed to to?
LISA: It’s hard to say. Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?
MARGE: Some things will be dealt with at a later date.
LISA: If at all.
Judging by Kondabolu’s response to the scene on Twitter, he wasn’t expecting the show he told us he was still a fan of to brush off The Problem with Apu‘s concerns as “politically incorrect” and something to “be dealt with at a later date,” if at all. “That’s the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked?” he wrote. “Man, I really loved this show. This is sad.”
Fellow comic and Politically Re-Active co-host W. Kamau Bell chimed in as well, calling the show’s method for addressing the controversy “the most ridiculous (as in worthy of ridicule) and toothless response.”
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)