It looks like The Simpsons won’t be getting rid of Apu just yet. Thus far, Matt Groening, the creator of the legendary series, has been relatively defensive of The Simpsons, and in past interviews, he insinuated that the outrage surrounding Apu was a bit over the top.
When he spoke with reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour today, he said he and the rest of the producers hadn’t talked about eliminating Apu.
Matt said, “I’m proud of everything we do on The Simpsons.” The showrunner added that he wanted to talk about his latest creation, Disenchantment, instead.
After a South East Asian director made the documentary, The Problem With Apu, a widespread conversation began between fans of the series and social activists, who argued that the character is a harmful stereotype, one which contributes to the pain of South East Asian people in the United States.
When he spoke with USA Today, Matt said that, right now, we’re at a point in time where people love to “pretend they’re offended.” And, in an interview later with The New York Times, he said that he loved Apu, and it made him feel bad that it made “other people feel bad.”
Groening said there was “no nuance” now in the conversation, and the topic had become “clunky.”Hank Azaria, during an interview on Stephen Colbert’s show in April, said he’d be “perfectly happy and willing to step aside”
Mr. Azaria explained that it broke his heart to know the character he voiced for so many years led to the hurt of visible minorities in the USA. While Hank has been sympathetic, other executives of the series have said the issue comes at a strange time, for a simple reason.
The Simpsons producer, Mike Reiss, said to Joe Scarborough that the documentary was late to the party because Apu hasn’t been on The Simpsons for around three years. He said, “no one seems to notice.”