Don’t Have A Cow Man! The Simpsons Addresses Apu Stereotype Controversy

The latest episode of the Simpsons has addressed the controversy surrounding Indian character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon over claims the popular show has a “racist” depiction of South Asians.

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Photo Credit: Fox

Last year Indian-American comic Hari Kondabolu released a documentary ‘The Problem with Apu’, about how South Asian people have dealt with seeing most of their American representation on television come from The Simpsons’ convenience store owner, Apu voiced by white actor Hank Azaria who puts on a heavy, stereotypical Indian accent.

Kondabolu discusses in the documentary his own experience with Apu, who he describes as sounding like “an impression of a white guy making fun of my dad.” He interviews people like Kal Penn and Aziz Ansari, who talk about how Apu’s accent and stereotypes have been used to mock or bully them.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Kondabolu said “You start to feel embarrassed to be an Indian,”

“Because there’s only one representation.”

The documentary has sparked an ongoing debate about representation on TV, and the newest episode of The Simpsons finally addressed the controversial topic.

A scene in episode No Good Read Goes Unpunished, the characters of Marge and Lisa indirectly discuss the controversy around the characterisation.

In the scene, Marge reads a book to daughter Lisa that has been to make it more politically correct, but her daughter objects. Marge then asks her daughter what she is supposed to do.

Lisa turns to the camera and says: “It’s hard to say. Something that started a long time ago decades ago, that was applauded and was inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”

A photo of Apu, inscribed with the words “Don’t have a cow” is then shown on Lisa’s bedside table. The phrase is a favourite of Bart’s, meaning don’t get all upset about it.

“Some things will be dealt with at a later date,” Marge promises.

“If at all,” Lisa adds.

Before the show aired, showrunner Al Jean tweeted, “New Simpsons in five minutes. Twitter explosion in act three.”

Reaction to the episode on social media has been mixed. Some people were fine with the response and pointed out that a lot of characters in the fictional town of Springfield are based on stereotypes while others said the brief reference brushed off the debate.

Kondabolu responded to the episode on Twitter. “Wow. “Politically Incorrect?” That’s the takeaway from my movie & the discussion it sparked? Man, I really loved this show. This is sad,” he wrote.

Representatives for Fox and 20th Century Fox Television said that producers prefer to let the episode “speak for itself.”

 

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Ready Player One

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After spending the last few years making drama films, director Steven Spielberg returns to the action-fantasy genre with his latest film Ready Player One. The blockbuster is Spielberg’s first film since 2011’s The Adventures of Tintin.

Based on the book, the film takes place in the year 2045 where civilisation escapes the misery of the real-world, uses the virtual reality software OASIS to engage in work and play. When the creator of a virtual reality world dies, (Mark Rylance) he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune and full ownership of the OASIS. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) teams up with other players where they discover clues to a hidden game and try to complete the game before the army of indentured players working for a large company, run by Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), can do so.

Ready Player One is also a love letter to pop culture paying homage from eras the 1970s to the 2010s referencing films, television shows, music, toys, video games, anime and comics which no doubt fans of pop culture will enjoy.

The ensemble cast is marvellous. Tye Sheridan is terrific as determined lead character Wade who brings likeability to the role and makes easy for audiences to relate. Sheridan works well with his supporting cast. Ben Mendelsohn is superb as the film’s antagonist.

Once again Spielberg delivers a stellar tentpole film. Ready Player One is thrilling and glamorous to watch from start to finish. The action is astounding with stunning special effects. The soundtrack perfectly fits the film.

Overall, Ready Player One is an entertaining blockbuster. It’s fun, action-packed and visually impressive with a touch of humour. Fans of Spielberg and lovers of pop cultures will not be disappointed. A must see

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Ready Player One is in cinemas now!

Love, Simon

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Based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Love, Simon (Nick Robinson) centres around Simon Spier, a closeted gay teenager in high school who is forced to balance his friends, his family, and the blackmailer threatening to out him to the entire school, while simultaneously attempting to discover the identity of the anonymous classmate he has fallen in love with online.

Love, Simon is charming, funny crowd-pleasing coming-of-age film guaranteed to fall in love with an excellent ensemble cast.

A wonderful romantic comedy-drama film with a tremendous cast, Love, Simon is worth a look.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Love, Simon is in cinemas March 29

Black Panther

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In the eighteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), In Black Panther, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home as king of Wakanda but finds his sovereignty challenged by a new adversary (Michael B. Jordan), in a conflict with global consequences.

Like the other Marvel films, Black Panther will not disappoint fans of the superhero films. It’s fun to watch. Action packed, hilarious and visually impressive . A must see

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Black Panther is in cinemas now!

Fifty Shades Freed

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In the third and final installment in the Fifty Shades film series, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan return as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively, and follows the couple as they marry, and must deal with Ana’s former boss (Eric Johnson), who begins to stalk them.

The film’s tagline is “Don’t Miss The Climax”, disappointing to say the climax ends on a dismal note. Unlike the previous films, Fifty Shades Freed feels spiritless as the plot drags on with Anastasia and Christian’s sex life and marital problems. Though Johnson and Dornan’s chemistry works well and shares some quirky scenes, their performances can’t save the movie. Fans of Fifty Shade will find this chapter.

Rating: 1/5 Stars

Fifty Shades Freed is in cinemas now!

 

 

 

 

Lady Bird

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Lady Bird is a coming-of-age story of a high-school senior (Saoirse Ronan) and her turbulent relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf).

A well written hilarious screenplay and directed film by Greta Gerwig. The performances are sublime. Ronan’s character is likeable and relatable. A perfect film for teenagers.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Lady Bird is in cinemas February 15

The Shape of Water

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Set in Baltimore in 1962, The Shape of Water follows a mute custodian (Sally Hawkins) at a high-security government laboratory who befriends a captured humanoid-amphibian creature (Doug Jones).

A beautiful fantasy drama with an outstanding cast and production design makes The Shape of Water a mesmerising film. Director Guillermo del Toro (Crimson PeakPan’s Labyrinth) has outdone himself creating an original fable that will melt your heart and will leave a lasting impression.

A heart-warming and visually stunning film that’s a must-see.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

The Shape of Water is in cinemas now!