The Simpsons creator Matt Groening doesn’t seem too concerned about the controversy over Apu. In a recent interview with USA Today, the uber-producer brushed off concerns that the recurring character may be a harmful stereotype of South Asian people.
“I’m proud of what we do on the show,” Groening told the newspaper. “And I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended.”
Groening didn’t have much to add when asked to comment on the show’s April 8 episode, which reigned the brouhaha by addressing the criticism over Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon by having Marge say, “Some things will be addressed at a later date,” with Lisa replying, “If at all.”
“We’ll let the show speak for itself,” Groening told USA Today. That’s the same thing showrunner Al Jean said after the episode aired. He also tweeted this before it aired: “New Simpsons in five minutes. Twitter explosion in act three.”
Apu’s character became a flashpoint with the arrival of Hari Kondabolu’s recent truTV documentary, The Problem with Apu. Later, Jean tweeted, “I truly appreciate all responses pro and con. Will continue to try to find an answer that is popular & more important right.”
Meanwhile, Hank Azaria, who voices Apu, told Stephen Colbert that he’s “perfectly willing and happy to step aside — or help transition it into something new. I really hope that’s what The Simpsons does. It not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do, to me.”