Manick Govinda: Apu is an American Hero

Manick Govinda: Apu is an American Hero

Another day, another claim that the entertainment industry is racist. The latest subject of attack is a character from The Simpsons. But who is the character causing offence? It’s not the stereotypically dumb, fat, white, blue-collar worker, Homer Simpson, or the loveable rogue, Bart Simpson. Nor is it the many typecast Irish, Scottish, German and other ethnic characters in this 28-year-old comedy. No, the media has taken offence at the Indian shopkeeper, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

Apu is the subject of a forthcoming documentary made by Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu, called The Problem With Apu. Kondabolu, a successful comedian with a Masters degree in human rights, claims that when he was growing up in Queens, New York, kids would call him Apu and put on Indian accents. Kondabolu admits to being a fan of The Simpsons, and expresses a fondness for Apu. ‘If you separate the impact of the character, and you just follow it, he’s a funny character in terms of how he’s one of the smarter characters’, he says. ‘The times when I watch it, within the context of the show, I can generally deal with it – until you hear a joke that you realise is basically a joke a bully would have made.’

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

External Articles

Follow All In Britain

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 818 other subscribers