During the bit in question, Marge is reading an edited-for-2018 version of The Princess in the Garden, but laments that the watered-down version of the character Clara starts out "pretty ideal", and doesn't leave any room for her to evolve, which "kinda means there's no point to the book". It did little to assuage a population that wanted answers, not mediocre laughs.
Sunday night's episode, No Good Read Goes Unpunished, was the first time The Simpsons creators acknowledged the controversy, but their response has not gone down well.
Because of the changing world, however, the content of the bedtime story was no longer politically correct. As a result, Lisa thought the character lacked any kind of an "emotional journey" for any kind of satisfying arc, rendering the story pointless. "What can you do?" right before the camera pans over to a framed photo of Apu, inscribed, "Don't have a cow!"
"Some things will be dealt with at a later date", Marge adds.
- GrievousError (@ErrorGrievous) April 9, 2018Loved how you guys handled this non-issue.
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has been a staple of the show since it began in the late 1980s, but his character, an Indian-American who owns a Kwik-E-Mart, and who is voiced by an actor, Hank Azaria, who is not Indian, has been considered by some an offensive stereotype.
Not directly, but in what can be perceived as references to Apu, Lisa says, "It's hard to say".
Last November, truTV aired The Problem With Apu, a documentary by comedian and filmmaker Hari Kondabolu that explored how The Simpsons' character, Apu, is not only represented on the animated series, but became the most well-known character from South Asia depicted in pop culture. Indian comedian Hari Kondabolu, the film's star, is a Simpsons fan who grew up being thankful for Apu's existence but has come to view the character as extremely problematic. The second is that by making Apu such a prominent negative stereotype about Indian people, it opened up many Indian people to slurs and ridicule.
Kondabolu also weighed in, tweeting that the response from the writers was "not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress". People just want to cry about everything nowadays b/c it makes them feel like they're doing something.
This didn't go over so smoothly, something that executive producer Al Jean predicted would happen. "Twitter explosion in act three".
"This character - the only representation that we have - led a lot of kids who were born and raised here to feel non-American", Kondabolu, who also grew up in Queens, said past year. "Only 20 years ago", he tweeted.
"Others have called it " completely toothless " and " a callous and resentful shrug", and have pointed out the irony of having the lines delivered by Lisa, one of the show's more progressive characters.