There’s been a lot of debate lately about The Simpsons‘ South Asian Kwik-E-Mart character, Apu.
That debate includes whether the character will return for another season of the show, which is celebrating its 29th year next month.
A recent documentary about the character’s significance in promoting a racial stereotype, and plenty of commentary to follow, has fans questioning whether the character is acceptable in today’s politically-correct world.
I had it explained to me this way, when the controversial issue was the use of the Confederate flag at a local southern-themed restaurant: why is a flag that was a part of U.S. history so offensive to some, but celebrated by others?
If you want an honest answer, you have to ask a person who belongs to the ethnic group who is offended.
Of course, some may not find it offensive if the offence does not apply to them.
WATCH: Hank Azaria says he’s willing to ‘step aside’ from controversial ‘Simpsons’ Apu role
But were you to ask someone from the group in question, the answer may be quite different.
I think the same applies here.
Back in the 1970s, a TV show called All in the Family won praise for exposing racial stereotypes and prejudices, starting the discussion.
That does not mean it would fly today, though.
Perhaps it’s time to take the lessons learned from such a show and apply it today.
After 29 years, even The Simpsons must evolve — if it wants to make it 30.