Why Apu Hasn’t Had a Line on "The Simpsons" in Three Years

“The Simpsons” longtime writer and producer, Mike Reiss, explains why and how the show handled criticism of the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner voiced by white actor Hank Azaria. Controversy surrounding Apu was re-ignited recently when a documentary created by comedian Hari Kondabolu,“The Problem with Apu,” addressed how the Apu’s portrayal is racist. “We addressed it on the show two years before him. We knew there was a problem,” Reiss told Salon’s Amanda Marcotte. “For three years, Apu hasn’t had a line in “The Simpsons.” And there was even an episode that addressed the offensive nature of the character.” Reiss goes on to explain how handling Apu is still “an ongoing problem.” “It's not cut and dry,” Reiss said. “It's not like the public is 100 percent against Apu.”

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