Bleats

The Simpsons Have Addressed The Apu Racism Controversy And Made Sure To Bring Lisa Down With Them

Not only do they still not understand the issues with Apu, they've gone and tarnished the one character that was meant to keep us all morally, socially, and ethically accountable.

Last year, the documentary The Problem With Apu forced us to wake up and smell the Squishee, when it asked us to consider the cultural impact and significance of Simpsons character, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

You know him, right? Aka the only form of Indian representation any of us saw in the mainstream media growing up? Yeah, that guy.

The documentary written by South Asian-American comedian, Hari Kondabolu, quickly gained traction for pointing out how offensive Apu’s heavily stereotypical accent was, and highlighted the many problems with having a white actor (Hank Azaria) voice the character.

The Simpsons finally addressed the controversy spurred on by the doco during an episode of the famous cartoon that aired last night in the US.

In doing so, they actually ended up causing more controversy. 

During the episode, titled “No Good Read Goes Unpunished”, the show gave a quick but venomous response to Kondabolu’s documentary when Marge settles in to read Lisa the bedtime story, The Princess in The Garden.

Lisa notes that Marge is exhausted, and Marge responds by explaining it’s hard work editing stories to please politically correct readers in 2018.

“It takes a lot of work to take the spirit and character out of a book,” she says, “but now it’s as inoffensive as a Sunday in Cincinnati,” Marge adds.

And then things just get really sad.

Lisa points out the story starts off with a perfect character, therefore removing the need for an emotional journey, and ultimately removing the need for the story at all.

The subtext is loud and clear.

“Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” she adds.

She then glimpses at a framed photo of Apu on her bedside table that reads: “Don’t have a cow.”

Of course, none of us were pleased with this lackluster response from The Simpsons, least not Kondabolu.

Marge and Lisa breaking character to turn to the camera and tell viewers that “Some things will be dealt with at a later date… if at all” is as immature as being that audience member who needs to have the very last clap at the end of a performance.

Clearly, the powers that be at The Simpsons just don’t get it, and don’t care to get it.

Not only have they shrugged off the issue that so many have taken offence to, they’ve destroyed us just that little bit more by having Lisa – the one moral, ethical, progressive and educated character that was meant to save the show from completely falling into racist and sexist oblivion, be the one to pull that final trigger.

How could they do this to us and to her? The same girl that created Lisa Lionheart with the hopes of providing young girls with a positive role model, is now telling us that cultural appropriation and racism is OK because that’s the way it’s always been…

For the first time in her life, they’ve silenced the real Lisa, and it’s so damn disappointing that they’ve chosen to use her as a mouthpiece for their intentionally damaging comments.

And just in case there was any confusion about what the creators where trying to do with this scene, just keep in mind this is what show runner Al Jean was tweeting after the episode aired.

Broad City Star Hannibal Buress Has His Mic Cut After Joking About Molestation And The Catholic Church

Because apparently free speech only applies if you’re white and speaking in favour of Catholicism.

Truth-teller, prophecy guy, and all-around comedic genius Hannibal Buress ruffled more than a few feathers during a recent stand-up gig at Loyola University in Chicago, when he spoke out about the restrictions placed on his set by the Jesuit-run university.

Buress had been on stage all of five minutes before his mic was cut off, after he projected an image of the communications he’d received from the administration of the university prior to the show.

The correspondence detailed all the hot-topics Buress wasn’t allowed to discuss during his set, including “rape, sexual assault, race, sexual orientation/ gender.”

Naturally, Burress didn’t shy away from the situation and brought it up immediately, because you know… he’s Hannibal Buress and we’d expect nothing less.

According to reports by those in attendance, Buress stuck it to the man, telling the audience, “Bitch ass old people, I can project”, before displaying the image on the wall, and adding, “y’all f**k kids, right?”.

Buress of course was referring to the Roman Catholic Church’s never-ending allegations of child abuse and subsequent cover ups in the US, Australia, and around the world

What followed was Buress’s mic being turned off, and a 15-minute time out.

Because let’s face it, it’s OK to talk about anything but the actual truth, right?

Did the university really have no idea who they were inviting to perform when they booked Burress?

It’s like asking Cher to hold a concert and not sing “Turn Back Time”.

 

Won’t somebody think of the children indeed…

Did they not realise Buress was the almost entirely responsible for reigniting the Bill Cosby controversy and bringing the allegations against the comedian back to the national and international news sphere after a set in 2014?

In a statement released to Variety, the university has said Buress “violated the mutually agreed upon content restriction clause in his contract”, adding “it is standard for the University to include a content restriction clause in entertainment contracts; Buress is the only entertainer to disregard the clause to the degree that his mic was cut.”

The university making a point of the unprecedented nature of the mic being cut-off is just the icing on the double-standard cake.

This also sets a scary precedent for other institutions to do the same whenever anyone with an unpopular opinion speaks out against injustice or wrong doing.

Thankfully, the university crowd at the event were clearly confused and annoyed by the university’s interference, and gave Buress a standing ovation when he eventually finished his set.

In this purse-clutching, monocle dropping world we live in, it’s more important than ever that those who purport to be advocates of free speech enable those trying to speak out about injustice, discrimination and abuse, instead of silencing or censoring them.

Stephen Hawking On The Simpsons: A Brief History Of a Comedic Genius

“Your theory of a donut-shaped universe is intriguing Homer, I may have to steal it.”

Stephen Hawking was many things.

A fascinating mind, a world-renowned theoretical physicist, and a man with a sense of humour matched only by some of the world’s great creators of pop culture and comedy.

Since the announcement of his passing yesterday at the age of 76, the Internet has been abuzz with tributes and praise for the man who popularised science for the masses.

In between the undeniable scientific achievements, we’ve also seen countless reminders of Hawking’s amazing comedic talents, his ability to make others laugh, and his willingness to laugh at himself.

One of the first to pay tribute to Hawking after his passing was Simpsons executive producer and writer Al Jean – who worked with Hawking during his four separate appearances on the famous cartoon.

While The Simpsons was just one of the many shows Hawking guest-starred in, its importance lies in the fact that it was also his first. These guest spots eventually led Hawking to appear in a number of series and sitcoms over the years, including The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek The Next Generation, and Little Britain.

Renowned for his joke-telling during the table reads, Hawking’s initial appearance on The Simpsons was in the Season 10 episode, “The Saved Lisa’s Brain”.

Here, Hawking (playing himself) heads to Springfield in the hopes of experiencing the utopia of a community built by Springfield’s Mensa chapter. Instead, he arrives to chaos, as the group has collapsed on itself due to big brains and even bigger egos.

It’s in this famous episode that Hawking created one of the best lines in Simpsons history.

Once Hawking finishes reading the group the riot act, Homer chimes in, yelling “Larry Flynt is right! You guys stink!”

According to Jean, the line was entirely Hawking’s idea.

“Mr. Hawking read it and allowed it,” Jean told The Hollywood Reporter. “The joke is Homer is an idiot. In no way was it critical of Mr. Hawking.”

This was just one of the many times Hawking used his whip smart self deprecating humour to get audiences laughing.

Hawking eventually went on to star in three other Simpsons episodes including, “Don’t Fear The Roofer”, “Stop of My Dog Will Shoot”, and “Elementary School Musical”, but his humour would permeate all that he did.

Simpsons executive producer and writer Matt Selman also spoke about Hawking’s time in the writer’s room,  telling The AV Club that the world’s smartest man would often show up just to hang out.

“Like, ‘There’s Matt Groening. There’s Dan Castellaneta. There’s… Stephen Hawking. At the read. Just enjoying our world.”

Hawking didn’t just appear on The Simpsons though, he even made a few appearances in Matt Groening’s animated world of Futurama – because he’s a legend and of course he did.

Oh, Mr. Hawking. Rest in peace, good sir.

We’re sure you’re up there somewhere, looking down on us from those twinkling stars above.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

#Trending

Show More Show Less

Follow Us