Something crazy happened over the weekend. The Left took up arms with another American folk hero; a man who traveled around the world to seek a better life; a man who represents everything that's great about the American melting pot; a friendly face who made us smile once a week for most of our lives; a man whose only crime was serving up convenience at an affordable price while politely saying, "Thank you, come again."
I'm speaking, of course, about Apu. Yes, the classic character from the Simpsons, owner of the Quik-E-Mart, is now under attack by the militant left. He's a respected member of his community, a resourceful businessman and an accomplished computer program. Yet, for some reason, the Left wants him dead.
In a new documentary-series for the truTV network, The Problem With Apu, filmmaker Hari Kondabolu explores the origins of The Simpsons' Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian character voiced by Hank Azaria. The whole TV show revolves around a group of people complaining about how they don't like Apu and they want him removed from the show.
This is just a nonsense idea for a program. Apu isn't the only stereotype on the show. The Simpsons writers routinely make fun of every variety of American social stereotypes, including Italian mobsters, Jewish comedians, Mexican TV-stars, Christian preachers, people from Japan, pot-smoking bus drivers, Scottish public school janitors, wealthy power plant owners, school bullies, overweight cops, nerds, the Irish, people who host infomercials, TV news anchors, old people, comic book enthusiasts, radio DJs, bartenders, cat ladies, disco enthusiasts, B-list actors and bad doctors. And by the way, the star of the show is an obese, lazy, dim-witted white guy named Homer. Indian immigrants are a respected part of American life. Wouldn't it be worse if htey didn't include an Indian charecter in the show?
They earn high wages, run small businesses, study at the best schools, rarely get arrested, serve in high ranking positions in the tech industry and make fantastic surgeons and doctors.
If you're offended by Apu, you're an idiot. Apu has an accent and he owns a convenience store. So what? Long story short - it's okay to be Apu.
Repeat that line.
Say it out loud.
It's. Okay. To. Be. Apu.
How did Tru-TV make an entire documentary series out of "The Problem With Apu"? Something tells me it won't get picked up for a second season [or a sequel, whatever].
And as for the Simpsons? 29 years and going strong.