Fix Apu Storyline

So let’s say they want to fix the Apu back story to make him look less ridiculous. Here are some ideas:

He’s nor really Indian, he’s been wearing brown face to land a hot wife.

He rigged a power line to the nuclear plant and he has been bitcoin mining in the back of the Kwik-E Mart. He’s now so rich he buys Smithers from Mr. Burns.

Other ideas?

The Scooby Doo kids investigate him, culminating in the unmasking of Mr. Burns masquerading as an offensive stereotype in an effort to discourage minorities from moving to Springfield. His wife and kids were just cyborgs. His little plan was working, and he would have gotten away with it, too…

He returns to India, to seek enlightenment from the Kwik-E-Mart president. The President asks if that’s what he really wants, and Apu assures him it is. The president transfers all his knowledge to Apu, who transends this reality. He remains as a disembodied force, providing guidance to anyone who knew him and concentrates – e.g. Homer thinks, “whatta I do, what do I do, Apu, help me!” and ghostly Apu appears and says, in only a faint accent, “Stay the course, Homer, you’re going fine.” or “Just try talking to Bart, he’ll see reason.”

The Kwik-E-Mart is taken over by Cookie Kawn’s cousin. Because ef everyone with their political correctness, remember those days? When The Simpsons had an edge? Oh, he’s a university student, and like Cookie has only the faintest accent.

I haven’t watched in 20 years, but from the earl part of the show…I would just:

  1. Have him quit the Kwik-E-Mart and get an engineering/computer programming job. I remember that he was trained as a programmer.

  2. Have him be a US citizen if he is not already.

Just stop doing any culturally insensitive stuff.

I don’t remember what is so bad about him. He’s smart, moral, and a pretty good guy in Springfield.

Then again, I don’t remember much.

An out of the box idea: do a soft reset on the whole Springfield universe. Go back to bringing home Santa’s Little Helper, pick and choose what continuity you want to hold on to, and bring in a new actor to voice an Apu or a different South Asian character

Apu became a citizen. And he was pretty smart.

I’m not an Indian American (nor an American Indian) but I always felt Apu defied the stereotypes rather than embodying them. He’s usually the smartest person in the room. He can’t help his accent. And the jokes are never about his accent, they are about his situation.

Well, he did choose to sell rancid food, I’ll give you that.

The problem with Apu is not in the show… it’s in the real world. There’s no storyline that fixes it.

And I’m someone who is definitely in the middle and not on a “side” of this argument and even I can see that.

I’m inclined to agree. In the real world, and in the whole rest of American pop culture.

I agree as well, nor is it about who voices him. It would be just as uncomfortable a stereotype had he had a non-melange accent by an actual Indian. I don’t think that would have prevented 90s kids from being called Apu growing up.

I don’t see any reason he can’t be fixed, given that Indian characters appear on other comedies without the problems that I understand are detailed in the book. AFAIK, people don’t mimic the Big Bang Theory guy.

I admit I don’t know what would fix it, due to not fully understanding the problem and not having read the book. And not having watched the show. But one idea would to just actually address the whole thing in-universe. Create the real life problem by there be someone on TV who is a much worse stereotype, and have it follow Apu and other South Asians and see how it affects them. Hell, make that person Homer, since being the idiot is kinda his role on the show. Hell, don’t end it happy: have Apu wind up leaving for a while. Because, even if you fix the problem, it doesn’t take away the hurt.

Do it right, and I think people would see the intent, and not freak out about Apu leaving. Though maybe leave some sort of note about him saying he’ll come back, and have a joke about whether he’ll be the same Apu they know. And then, when he comes back, you have the new voice actor. He tries his old job, maybe, but it’s just not the same, and he moves on to doing something else, while still being around, just showing up like any other character, rather than to fit the stereotype.

At least, that’s my idea with maybe 20 minutes thought.

They need to cancel the show and replace it with struggle sessions where white actors, producers, and writers admit their own racism and beg forgiveness.

Replace the character Apu completely and make the new convenience store clerk a black guy voiced by a funny black comedian.

There, everybody wins.

Have him sell the store to a white guy so that people can scream “erasure!” and “whitewashing!”

He can go back to Springfield Heights Institute of Technology.

Apu is just fine the way he is.

From my reading of the ‘poking the politically incorrect bear’ thread*, my understanding is that the problem isn’t Apu but the fact that Apu is a single icon that modern kids have used as a stereotype. This is in contrast to white/caucasian characters that are not considered stereotypes because there are several of them with varying traits.

Therefore, as I noted in that thread, the best response is to bring in other characters of South-Asian Indian heritage who demonstrate a variety of traits. Gosh! Why not do the same with characters of Korean, and African-American heritage, as well! Maybe even South American, Middle-Eastern, Eastern European, Central American, and exotic island cultures, as well. Then the characters can be seen as fulfilling a broad spectrum of jobs, economic statuses, educational levels, and personality types while the jokes would be easier to see as mocking behaviors rather than racial or ethnic traits.
*Sorry, but I think I stopped after page 4, so maybe I got the wrong impression because I didn’t read enough.

All of the Simpson’s characters are flawed. I can understand the concerns some people have with Apu. I can’t speak for them. But most of my Indian friends used to like Apu and find him funny and relevant (though this was twenty years ago). Many specifically loved the typical Bollywood movie scenes and the elephant episode. I don’t know how they felt that the person providing his voice (and many others) was not South Asian.

I’m sure you can’t fix this in a way that will make everyone happy. Several characters have been retired. I don’t watch the show often, think it may have jumped the shark years ago. Letting someone else voice the character would not change the fact most of the characters are (and sometimes break) stereotypes. Adding other South Asian characters is possible, but Groening has made his position clear enough.

I didn’t see the episode where there was an implied response to the criticism. Any response will be open to criticism. Some of these criticisms are valid. Some people criticize to debate or educate — some people are pedantic or seek attention.

Just suddenly give him a chic haircut, dress him in drab yet well-tailored tweeds, and give him an Oxbridge accent. Let him continue running the Kwiki-mart. Make no explanation.

This is why there are so few conservative comedy writers.