Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
TV
Byrne Robotics > TV Page of 9 Next >>
Topic: The Simpsons did it again...... Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
James Johnson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 March 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 802
Posted: 14 December 2017 at 3:13pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

LINK
Back to Top profile | search
 
Adam Schulman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 22 July 2017
Posts: 1198
Posted: 15 December 2017 at 5:19pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Simpsons writers have a John Byrne-like power of precognition.

Edited by Adam Schulman on 15 December 2017 at 5:20pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14994
Posted: 25 April 2018 at 11:29am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Hank Azaria says he will step down from voicing Apu on "The Simpsons" if that's necessary after criticism that the portrayal is a racist one. This comes after a documentary,  "The Problem With Apu," that examines how the character has affected those of South Asian/Indian heritage. 

The documentary is enlightening, and while I do think society these days is often overly politically correct,  I confess that since Apu first appeared on "The Simpsons" I was kind of shocked such a stereotype was still allowed on television. Yes, it was nearly 30 years ago, but in the early 1990s, PC was already becoming a thing.

Anyway, any thoughts on this from you guys?



Edited by Matt Hawes on 25 April 2018 at 11:31am
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 116849
Posted: 25 April 2018 at 11:43am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Slippery slope. Caricature and satire are all about, well, caricature and satire! When we begin to proscribe the caricatures, how tightly will the noose be drawn?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Roberts
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12909
Posted: 25 April 2018 at 1:49pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

In college, I remember sitting with one of my co-workers outside the library, where we both worked. He was of Indian descent. Some frat bros walked by and called out to him. “Hey Apu... Hey Apu...”. He tried to ignore them at first, but when they wouldn’t stop, he walked over to confront them. They ran off laughing. I got the impression this wasn’t the first time he had dealt with something like that. This was in LA in the late 90s, hardly a place devoid of diversity.

It would be easy to dismiss Apu as a playful stereotype if there were more representation of Indians on television, and we’ve been seeing that in the last few years. But for a long time, he was the default representation of Indians on TV and that had an effect.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Ed Aycock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 05 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 992
Posted: 25 April 2018 at 5:02pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I don't know.  I never saw Apu as offensive as he inhabited a world of silly, offbeat people.  It's not a show about representation.  I sure never looked to it for gay representation as for the longest time we only had a man who was closeted in love with his withered, ancient boss (iiieewww) and had a huge collection of Malibu Stacy dolls. And god, he was portrayed more humanely than on so many other shows where it was a gag or a VERY SPECIAL EPISODE.

Maybe I'm even surprised at myself for this but had this been a season or two into the show, ok.  But nearly three decades on?  This is how the Dems lose.
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Joe Boster
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 29 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3159
Posted: 25 April 2018 at 6:25pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I always thought Apu wask Pakistani. Apu is a successful business owner. As a small business owner I admire Apu. I should be offended at the Fat neck-beard comic store guy, next. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11912
Posted: 26 April 2018 at 7:39am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'd agree with Matt's comment that Apu seemed a bit un-PC from the get-go. What was uncomfortable to me was that it seemed as though part of what was supposed to be funny about him was the 'comedy' accent by Azaria.

At the same time, stereotype as he may be, Apu is presented as hard working and intelligent and over the years, the writers have done a lot more with him. He is far smarter than many other characters in the show and I think characters like Homer, Barney and Mo tend to be the butt of the jokes far more than someone like Apu, who actually is often portrayed favourably in comparison to many of the characters with whom he interacts.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10708
Posted: 26 April 2018 at 8:18am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Where do we draw the line though? Is a comedy Scottish
accent not offensive to the Scottish? Or the stereotype
that they are tight fisted? Same goes for the comedy
Irish accent and stereotype that they are piss heads?
Italians being lecherous bottom pinchers with ties to
organised crime?
As for Michael`s example of a colleague being called
Apu, if Apu didn`t exist, those types would likely find
some other name to call him, Raj from Big Bang Theory
maybe? That`s their mentality.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 116849
Posted: 26 April 2018 at 8:25am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Being called "Scottish" is likely more offensive!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10708
Posted: 26 April 2018 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Och aye!
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14994
Posted: 26 April 2018 at 12:42pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I'm not a fan of how crazy the PC crowd has gotten, but I do understand the complaints against Apu from those of South Asian heritage. The point made in the documentary about Apu is that for so many years there has been virtually NO other representation of that culture in American entertainment,  not even Raj from "The Big Bang Theory" (which Bill mentions above,  and who was oddly not mentioned in the documentary) until  many years later.

Peter mentioned above that it seemed what was supposed to be funny about Apu initially was the accent, and according to the documentary,  based on interviews with writers for "The Simpsons," that is true. Supposedly,  the writers didn't want a stereotypical Indian accent for the then-unnamed convenience store clerk, but when Hank Azaria read for the part he used the accent anyway, and the writers all laughed and went with it anyway.

I agree that since then, the writers for the show have fleshed out the character and added more dimension to Apu, but it's obviously a sticking point with many people of that culture. It seems to them Apu is as offensive as Stepin Fetchit is the the black community.

About the other nationalities and races that are stereotyped on the show, again, according to the critics of Apu, this is more about how in American pop culture, Apu has been the default representation for South Asians, one based on an acknowledged stereotype. 

Are these critics being overly sensitive?  I'm not sure, but I can say I have never had to deal with someone mockingly calling me "Apu" based simply on my skin color or accent. I don't know that I would want to see the character removed from the show, but I can at least emphasize with why some people do feel the way they do about it. 




Edited by Matt Hawes on 26 April 2018 at 12:43pm
Back to Top profile | search | www
 

Page of 9 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login