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Simpsons In The Media: I'm Kent Brockman

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I often wonder what the past 20 years of television and film would have been like if Phil Hartman had not died.  He would have done a tremendous amount of character and voice acting work.  Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz would still be around.  Zap Branigan on Futurama would have had a different voice (the role was originally written for Hartman).

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Don't know where to put this, but I met Mike Reiss at New York Comic Con today and couldn't have been a nicer, sweeter guy. I finally bought his book and he signed it!

Edited by Galileo908
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I finally watched The Problem With Apu and all I can say that Hari is right. What makes it even worse is how the show is responding to it, which is basically, "We do this to everyone so stop whining." Without even acknowledging that Apu is played by a white guy doing his impression of an Indian stereotype. 

This show really has gone on too long.

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This article is saying that Apu is being written off the show:

Quote

 

Following a nearly year-long controversy — though one that has really lasted for as long as the character has existed — producers of The Simpsons have confirmed that Apu, longtime Quik-E-Mart owner and Indian stereotype, is being written off of the show.

The news was delivered to Indiewire by producer Adi Shankar, who said he’d been trying to crowdsource a script that “in a clever way subverts him, pivots him, writes him out, or evolves him in a way that takes a creation that was the byproduct of a predominately Harvard-educated white male writers’ room and transforms it into a fresh, funny and realistic portrayal of Indians in America.”

 

https://uproxx.com/tv/the-simpsons-apu-controversy/

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58 minutes ago, TVSpectator said:

This article is saying that Apu is being written off the show:

https://uproxx.com/tv/the-simpsons-apu-controversy/

I hate to say it but I am starting to think that if they are going to go down this road they should probably just end the show. If Apu is offensive because on the surface he is a stereotype and is voiced by someone who doesn't share that background, well then that definition fits most of the characters. Will "The problem with Smithers" be next? The show plays with stereotypes yes but it is not hard, at least for me to see that they are satire. Hell Homer is a fat, lazy stupid American. 

The whole thing reminds me of Speedy Gonzalez, also a huge stereotype voiced by someone not Mexican. Cartoon network started pulling Speedy cartoons in the 90's only to have Latin-American groups speak out against the move and say they actually liked Speedy. I wonder if there will be anything similar from Indian people who appericate the Apu character and how well he is developed?

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Well said. Exactly. Almost all the characters on the show are that. From Ned to The Simpsons family to Mr. Burns to Moe and so on are that. It basically makes fun of everyone. And like you said, it's satire.

Wow. This is the first time I've heard about that. 

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43 minutes ago, Kel Varnsen said:

I hate to say it but I am starting to think that if they are going to go down this road they should probably just end the show. If Apu is offensive because on the surface he is a stereotype and is voiced by someone who doesn't share that background, well then that definition fits most of the characters. Will "The problem with Smithers" be next? The show plays with stereotypes yes but it is not hard, at least for me to see that they are satire. Hell Homer is a fat, lazy stupid American. 

The whole thing reminds me of Speedy Gonzalez, also a huge stereotype voiced by someone not Mexican. Cartoon network started pulling Speedy cartoons in the 90's only to have Latin-American groups speak out against the move and say they actually liked Speedy. I wonder if there will be anything similar from Indian people who appericate the Apu character and how well he is developed?

 

37 minutes ago, AntiBeeSpray said:

Well said. Exactly. Almost all the characters on the show are that. From Ned to The Simpsons family to Mr. Burns to Moe and so on are that. It basically makes fun of everyone. And like you said, it's satire.

Wow. This is the first time I've heard about that. 

Have you seen the Hari Kondabolu documentary that seemed to be the thing that really brought much attention to the issue ("The Problem with Apu")?  It may not change your mind but it may at least give you some insight into why to a lot of people this "satire" feels different.

Edited to add - sorry, I see that documentary has been mentioned many times above, but my point stands.  Before I saw it, my thought was, "hey, they make fun of everyone" but after watching it, I think there is definitely another side to the story.

Edited by SoMuchTV
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34 minutes ago, SoMuchTV said:

 

Have you seen the Hari Kondabolu documentary that seemed to be the thing that really brought much attention to the issue ("The Problem with Apu")?  It may not change your mind but it may at least give you some insight into why to a lot of people this "satire" feels different.

Edited to add - sorry, I see that documentary has been mentioned many times above, but my point stands.  Before I saw it, my thought was, "hey, they make fun of everyone" but after watching it, I think there is definitely another side to the story.

 

Heard about it. And to be honest, again... the show is satire. Doubt even the documentary will change my view on it. It's how I view the show as a whole. If you take out Apu, they might as well take out everyone.

You could have cops not liking the portrayal of cops in it, Christians not liking how they're portrayed on the show and so on. 

Edited by AntiBeeSpray
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1 hour ago, SoMuchTV said:

 

Have you seen the Hari Kondabolu documentary that seemed to be the thing that really brought much attention to the issue ("The Problem with Apu")?  It may not change your mind but it may at least give you some insight into why to a lot of people this "satire" feels different.

Edited to add - sorry, I see that documentary has been mentioned many times above, but my point stands.  Before I saw it, my thought was, "hey, they make fun of everyone" but after watching it, I think there is definitely another side to the story.

Haven't seen it but read enough about it. I get that some people can be offended but it seems like an unwinable situation. Just about any option is going to offend a segment of the population the same way Apu is offending some people now. So unless the show isn't going to care about it, the same way they didn't really care about offending Brazil then the best option is probably just cancellation. Which sucks because even though i don't really watch anymore, i would hate to see it go out like that.

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12 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

I hate to say it but I am starting to think that if they are going to go down this road they should probably just end the show. If Apu is offensive because on the surface he is a stereotype and is voiced by someone who doesn't share that background, well then that definition fits most of the characters. Will "The problem with Smithers" be next? The show plays with stereotypes yes but it is not hard, at least for me to see that they are satire. Hell Homer is a fat, lazy stupid American. 

The whole thing reminds me of Speedy Gonzalez, also a huge stereotype voiced by someone not Mexican. Cartoon network started pulling Speedy cartoons in the 90's only to have Latin-American groups speak out against the move and say they actually liked Speedy. I wonder if there will be anything similar from Indian people who appericate the Apu character and how well he is developed?

Why don't the people offended by Apu just not watch the show?  It's the stupidest thing.  Media depicts too much sex, or makes fun of religious faith, and some people say "if you don't like it, just don't watch".  The same media depicts something that makes them uncomfortable, and the same people say "destroy it!!!!".  So many people get so fixated on making everything conform directly to whatever makes them most comfortable.  Apu is a long lasting beloved character.  Why should we cave in to a vocal minority?  If they don't like Apu, they have the option of cancelling him from their lives.

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Honestly, I think writing off Apu is just a cheap cowardly move. Hari wanted the problem to be acknowledged or at least have Apu being given a bit more nuance or an actual Indian voice actor. They aren't doing any of those things. Instead, they're just writing off Apu so they can keep milking this dry cow of a show til the apocalypse.

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The annoying thing is there are always articles about the lack of developed Asian characters in TV. So if they write out Apu there will be one less. It really seems like a perfect is the enemy of good with this situation.

I also generally hate the idea of you can't play a character unless you are an actor exactly like that character.

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2 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

The annoying thing is there are always articles about the lack of developed Asian characters in TV. So if they write out Apu there will be one less. It really seems like a perfect is the enemy of good with this situation.

I also generally hate the idea of you can't play a character unless you are an actor exactly like that character.

Are they also going to write out his brother Sanjay (voiced by Harry Shearer) and his wife Manjula (voiced by either Jan Hooks or Tress Mcneille) ? 
And if they write them out, what happens to the Octuplets ?  Will they be written out as well (even though they don't have voice actors) ?

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More Ali news came out today:


 

Quote

 

Last week, producer and Youtuber Adi Shankar claimed that The Simpsons plans to "drop the Apu character altogether".

But Al Jean, who is an executive producer, has responded on Twitter saying that Adi Shankar "does not speak for our show".

Apu has become controversial recently, with some people arguing that he is an Indian stereotype.

Adi Shankar, who is a producer on the Netflix show Castlevania, told IndieWire that he'd been told Apu's days on the show were numbered.

He claimed to have got the news from two people who work on the show and a third person who works with Simpsons creator Matt Groening.

Simpsons executive producer Al Jean, who has been there since the show started way back in 1989, tweeted: "Adi Shankar is not a producer on the Simpsons. I wish him the very best but he does not speak for our show."

Al Jean didn't say whether or not Apu would be staying in the show or not.


 

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/newsbeat-46017390

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On 10/28/2018 at 2:14 AM, Brandi Maxxxx said:

Roger Meyers, Jr.: Gentlemen, the screwballs have spoken.

 

On 10/28/2018 at 8:13 PM, Kel Varnsen said:

The annoying thing is there are always articles about the lack of developed Asian characters in TV. So if they write out Apu there will be one less. It really seems like a perfect is the enemy of good with this situation.

I also generally hate the idea of you can't play a character unless you are an actor exactly like that character.

It's like people don't understand the concept of acting and "pretend" anymore.

I think Apu is actually one of the best characters: he owns (or at least manages) a successful business, and he comes across as more intelligent than most of the citizens of Springfield. 

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I am glad to hear they are not caving in to a non-controversy by a vocal minority and writing Apu out of the show.  In a lot of the jobs I've had, part of our orientation was being informed not to speak to the press on behalf of the show, and leave that up to the communications department and the executive people.  This incident and Al Jean's response are exactly why companies have this policy.

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