The Simpsons WILL address Apu stereotyping controversy

Joe Anderton
Photo credit: Fox/Contributor / Getty Images

From Digital Spy

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon may be a secondary character on The Simpsons, but he has been at the forefront of a big conversation about representation on TV throughout 2017.

A documentary called The Problem with Apu was released last year andtalked about how the character embodied the stereotypes of Indian-Americans, like being a shopkeeper, as well as the problems of white actor Hank Azaria putting on a heavy accent to portray the character.

Azaria later responded to the documentary, saying that it made "some really interesting points" and gave everyone a lot to think about it and now the actor has revealed that The Simpsons will "definitely" be addressing the issue on-screen too.

Photo credit: FOX/Contributor / Getty Images

"The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased or worse based on the character of Apu … it's distressing," he said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour (via The Wrap).

"The idea that anybody was marginalised based on it or had a hard time was very upsetting to me personally and professionally.

"As far as what is going to happen with the character going forward, it's really not just up to me.

"[The producers] will definitely address - maybe publicly, but certainly within the context of the show - what they want to do, if anything, with the character."

Photo credit: Michael N. Todaro/WireImage / Getty Images

For his part, Azaria said Apu has "wonderful qualities and great assets".

"It's a character that I've done for 29 years now, and I've done it with a lot of love and joy and with pride," he added. "The intent was to make people laugh and to bring joy.

"So to cause any kind of pain or suffering in any way is disturbing, actually."

Sky One airs new episodes of The Simpsons in the UK, while FOX airs it in the US.

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