The Simpsons‘ showrunner has weighed in on the controversy swirling around one of the Fox cartoon’s most beloved characters.
Following this week’s episode, which addressed those calling the show’s portrayal of Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu racially insensitive, executive producer Al Jean took to Twitter on Friday to thank everyone who reacted to the episode, “pro and con,” and to pledge that he and the writers will keep trying “to find an answer that is popular [and] more important right”:
In case you missed it, The Simpsons has been under fire from critics — most prominently, comedian Hari Kondabolu and his documentary The Problem With Apu — who see the character of Apu, voiced by white cast member Hank Azaria, as a demeaning stereotype of Indian people. Sunday’s episode alluded to the criticism with a plot about Marge discovering that a favorite book of hers as a child was riddled with outdated stereotypes. Lisa chimed in to say, “Something that started out decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect,” before glancing at a portrait of Apu.
If you want to hear Kondabolu’s side of the story, TruTV is re-airing his documentary The Problem With Apu this Sunday at 7/6c.