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“The Problem With Apu” Documentary Adresses Racist Indian Stereotypes


Most television watchers have seen at least one episode of The Simpsons or have at least heard of the show. The Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu has a bone to pick with the famous Indian character on the show named Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Apu is recognized for owning the Kwik-E-Mart and his exaggerated accent. Kondabolu sees the character as racist, which motivated him to create the documentary "The Problem With Apu" in the first place. He also believes that South Asian-Americans looked to Apu as the only representation of the culture.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu. Photo courtesy of The Variety.

When growing up, people generally placed stereotypes on Kondabolu along with his colleagues that he has group discussions with in the documentarySouth Asian-American comedians and actors that appear in the film include Kal Penn, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Aziz Ansari, and Sakina JaffreyKondabolu's mission with the film is to track down the white actor that played the voice of Apu for nearly 30 years. Yes, to make things worse the actual character was played by the white actor named Hank Azaria who gave the writers what they wanted: an offensive Indian accent. In the end, Kondabolu reveals two different stories on how the character Apu was created.

The Problem With Apu aired November 19th on truTV and it has created a lot of buzz in the United States and around the world since its release. Check out the engaging trailer below!

By: Alaina Pawlowicz

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