The Simpsons fans took to Twitter Sunday night to criticize the show’s response to recent accusations suggesting Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon promotes racist stereotypes of India and Indian people.
The latest episode, No Good Read Goes Unpunished, saw Marge and Lisa indirectly discuss the portrayal of Apu. The mother and daughter talk about a new edited version of The Princess in the Garden and how it had been altered to be acceptable and inoffensive in 2018.
Lisa explained, “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”
A framed photo of Apu was also shown, with the words “Don’t have a cow, man” — Bart’s once-ubiquitous phrase — written underneath.
Fans slammed the way the show dealt with the controversy, with people commenting on social media in droves to say how disappointed they were.
The episode comes after the documentary The Problem with Apu was released last November.
The movie, directed by Michael Melamedoff and written by Hari Kondabolu, examines the East Indian cartoon character and his exaggerated mannerisms and catchphrases.
Kondabolu was among those taking to Twitter Sunday night.
“Wow. ‘Politically Incorrect?'” he wrote. “That’s the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad.”
He also added: “In The Problem with Apu, I used Apu & The Simpsons as an entry point into a larger conversation about the representation of marginalized groups & why this is important. The Simpsons‘ response tonight is not a jab at me, but at what many of us consider progress.”
The comedian interviewed the likes of Aziz Ansari, Whoopi Goldberg and Kal Penn to look into the problematic nature of the shop owner last year.
Kondabolu previously told the BBC, “Kids in the playground would always mimic the accent and say ‘Thank you, come again!’ or ‘Hello, Mr Homer!'”
“Sure, growing up in New York City everyone tries to be funny. If you grow up there you learn to make jokes and how to make comebacks, but it’s hard to counter an accent – what’s your comeback for an accent?”