Comedian Hari Kondabolu has been voicing his disappointment in the harmful stereotypes he sees within The Simpsons’ character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon for over a half-decade, and on Sunday night the writers of the show finally gave a response to those accusations in the episode “No Good Read Goes Unpunished.” Kondabolu was understandably not pleased by this scene between Marge and Lisa in which they use a fictional storybook character as a way to defend themselves against the idea that Apu is an offensive character, with Lisa saying “Something that started decades ago and was applauded as inoffensive is now politically incorrect,” before cutting to a bedside picture of Apu that is signed “Don’t have a cow.”
Kondabolu responded to the episode with several tweets afterwards, expressing his disappointment in the show’s decision to refer to the topic of Apu and stereotypes as “politically incorrect.”
Kondabolu ended it with a jab back at The Simpsons and “being seen as relevant again.”
Kondabolu first addressed his issues with the Apu character on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell in 2012, then again in the documentary The Problem with Apu, which was released on truTV in 2017. Hank Azaria, who does the voice of Apu, responded in December that it was “a lot to digest,” telling a TMZ reporter that he and others at The Simpsons were really “thinking about” Kondabolu’s documentary on the subject. Now it appears that they aren’t just thinking about it, they’re addressing it, and they don’t seem to share Kondabolu’s views on the character of Apu – though they did end by saying that “some things will be dealt with at a later date.”
The Apu-Kondabolu saga does not appear to be over.