The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has responded to the controversy surrounding the character Apu after a 2017 documentary criticised him as being a stereotype. In an interview with USA Today largely focused on The Simpsons setting yet another TV record, Groening said the blowback around Apu partially comes down to how people “love to pretend they’re offended.”
“I’m proud of what we do on the show,” he said. “And I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended.”
The April 8 episode of The Simpsons responded to the Apu controversy and went on to muster up even more drama. In this episode, Marge says, “Some things will be addressed at a later date,” with Lisa chiming in to add, “If at all.” USA Today asked Groening what these lines meant. He responded, “We’ll let the show speak for itself.”
Well, that seals it. Matt Groening finally responded & sounds like every other troll on the internet who didn’t see the documentary. No one is offended by this character. It was, at times, insulting & was frustrating to many of us who were solely represented by that one image. https://t.co/AfYNAeaU7Z
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) April 30, 2018
Hari Kondabolu, who directed the 2017 documentary The Problem With Apu, responded to Groening’s comments on Twitter, saying Groening comes across as “like every other troll.”
Kondabolu said, “Well, that seals it. Matt Groening finally responded & sounds like every other troll on the internet who didn’t see the documentary. No one is offended by this character. It was, at times, insulting & was frustrating to many of us who were solely represented by that one image.”
In the wake of the controversy, Apu voice actor Hank Azaria said he is willing to step aside. The Simpsons is currently in its 29th season, and it just recently aired its 636th episode, which beats Gunsmoke (635 episodes) to become the longest-running scripted TV series ever.
The Simpsons is renewed for Season 30, but how much longer will the show run? Groening said in the USA Today interview, “I don’t see any end in sight.” And asked what’s left on his list of Simpsons-related accomplishments, Groening said he wants to see a theme park dedicated exclusively to The Simpsons. There are already some attractions at Universal’s parks, but Groening said he wants to go even bigger–and stranger.
“We need a 600-foot-tall statue of Homer at the center of a (theme) park. … And you eat dinner in his head,” Groening said.
Sure, why not.