"People love to pretend they’re offended."
The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has responded to the criticism over the characterisation of Apu – and it’s likely to stir up a bit of anger among the show’s critics.
Last year, American comedian Hari Kondabolu fronted documentary ‘The Problem With Apu’, in which he argues that the character perpetuates racial stereotypes and criticises Hank Azaria’s depiction of the Kwik-E-Mart owner.
But while Azaria last week admitted that he would be willing to stand down from voicing Apu, Groening has now responded for the first time , and it’s unlikely to bring an end to the controversy.
Speaking to USA Today, Groening said: “I’m proud of what we do on the show. And I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended.”
The controversy was also addressed in recent episode ‘No Good Read Goes Unpunished’ which saw Marge read Lisa her ‘favourite book’, but forced to update the old stereotypes within it.
Lisa Simpson is heard to say “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”
More obviously, a framed photo of Apu is seen with the words “don’t have a cow, man”.
Kondabolu has since responded to Groening’s apparent criticism of his concerns, labelling him a “troll”.
“Well, that seals it. Matt Groening finally responded & sounds like every other troll on the internet who didn’t see the documentary. No one is offended by this character. It was, at times, insulting & was frustrating to many of us who were solely represented by that one image”, he wrote.