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Topic: Hank Azaria Will No Longer Voice "Apu" Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 26 February 2020 at 6:25am | IP Logged | 1 post reply


 QUOTE:
Would Apu be OK if an Indian was the voice-actor?

My understanding is that's what they want. They somehow feel it is racist for a white man to put on an Indian accent and for shows with App in not not to have been written by an Indian writer. I guess. Hard to follow their logic sometimes. 


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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 February 2020 at 7:25am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The pendulum swings. Hollywood goes from complete racism (BIRTH OF A NATION etc) to over-the-top political correctness.

How far can it go?

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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 26 February 2020 at 8:43am | IP Logged | 3 post reply


 QUOTE:
My understanding is that's what they want. They somehow feel it is racist for a white man to put on an Indian accent and for shows with App in not not to have been written by an Indian writer. I guess. Hard to follow their logic sometimes.

Let's be clear: "They" in this context is not some faceless committee of Hollywood executives trying to look for something to be offended by, but actual South Asian actors and celebrities trying to have a dialogue about how Apu being one of the few representations of brown faces growing up affected them. Do they represent the views of all people of South Asian descent? No, of course not. Do they represent the views of many people of South Asian descent? Well, certainly better than white folk trying to dictate what Indian-Americans should or should not be offended by.

As for the logic of having an Indian voice actor or an Indian writer, it would simply be that they'd have the life experiences to better avoid, on a show that relies on caricatures, the sort of hurtful racial caricatures that make Apu controversial. It's not difficult to understand.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 February 2020 at 9:15am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Again, what is “offensive” about Apu as a character?
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 February 2020 at 11:55am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Hollywood now exists to pander to the lunatic fringe on Twitter, which complains that everything is offensive, just so they can feel important. This is the mindset which has completely destroyed the genre franchises that I’ve loved so much. 

These are the people who have stated that their goal is to destroy the Western canon and culture. Let the past die, kill it if you have to. Everything in the past is “toxic”. Everything is offensive. Men are innately toxic, and women are stunning and brave. All white people are privileged and racist. And on and on and on. No more room for humor, satire, or talking openly and honestly about social issues. Just terrible writing, Mary Sue characters, race-swapping, racism and misandry disguised as “diversity” and “representation”, outrage mobs, and the rewriting of history to suit agendas. This is the death-by-PC-committee of honest discourse, good storytelling, and artistic expression.

THE SIMPSONS is long past its expiration date, but seeing the show bend the knee to the Twitterati is unfortunate. I’m just glad that people like Dave Chappell and Bill Burr have re-opened the door to no-holds-barred, non-PC comedy. And I miss George Carlin more and more every day.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 27 February 2020 at 2:25am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Thread killer...
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Tyler Kloster
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Posted: 03 March 2020 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

It's worth noting, as it already has been many times
before, that the line "Let the past die, kill it if you
have to" was uttered by a villain, and that the entire
point is that he's wrong. You don't let the past die,
you learn from it and do better.

And that's what I think THE SIMPSONS is trying to do.
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David Miller
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Posted: 03 March 2020 at 6:12pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Can we post in here again?

If anything, diversity has led to comedy becoming more transgressive and democratic than ever before. The same people who think comedy has been neutered also appear to be under the impression Lenny Bruce’s act consisted of running up to random African Americans on the street and calling them the n-word.

Meanwhile, non-PC humor is thriving. Shock jocks have millions of subscribers on Sirius. There are probably thousands of low humor podcasts. “Un-PC humor” has become such a cliché that a white guy calling his show “Triggered” has become a cliché of its own.

The most popular radio format in America is right-wing talk radio, and 90% of its hosts are comedians snarling non-PC "jokes" directed at women and people of color. Rush Limbaugh, the number one radio personality in America, earned millions from non-PC humor and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a distant epoch otherwise known as less than a month ago.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 03 March 2020 at 6:50pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

It will be interesting to see what "The Simpsons" decides
to do, in particular if they retain Apu, what changes they
make.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 03 March 2020 at 8:53pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

How often diversity leads to divisiveness. Evolution has programmed us to hate/fear That Which is Not Us.
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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 04 March 2020 at 10:57am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

“Again, what is “offensive” about Apu as a character?”

Nothing is offensive about Apu as a character.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where the character
has been turned into a slur. As an Indian-American
friend if they have been called Apu, and if they felt
the person was using it as a compliment. Ask how they
felt when they heard “Thank you, come again” in
Azaria’s fake accent. When someone uses such
references to bully or demean someone, they aren’t
doing it by themselves, they are using the cultural
authority of The Simpsons to justify the contempt.

Sure, The Simpsons has multiple caricatures, from the
Italian Americans, to the Jews, to the Scotsmen and so
on. But, Fat Tony, Krusty, and Groundskeeper Willy do
not exist in a world where they are the primary
representative of their ethnicity. For multiple
generations that have grown up on The Simpsons, the
number of cultural representatives of the Indian
American is so small and it is reasonable to say that
Apu rose to the top as the predominate representative.
And, as such, he is brought to life by a white guy who
found his character’s voice by using the brown face
performance of Peter Sellers in The Party.

I get Azaria’s decision to walk away. It makes me
sad, but I definitely get it. Its too ba, because this
could have been an opportunity to remodel the
character to increase cultural awareness and
intelligence. But, Apu as he has existed for the last
30 years, is immortal. Even when he has been used to
demonstrate culture, the episode on Lisa’s
vegetarianism comes to mind, “Thank you, come again”,
will continue to overshadow and Apu will remain the
slur.
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