“Simpsons” creator Matt Groening stood tall before he buckled.
Earlier this year Groening appeared defiant in the face of a documentary slamming Apu, the show’s Indian character, as a hurtful stereotype.
His iconic series addressed the matter in an episode where Marge and Lisa discussed a similar subject.
The scene began with Marge reading a bedtime story to Lisa that had been neutered with social justice buzzwords. “What am I supposed to do?” Marge asks when Lisa complains.
“It’s hard to say,” says Lisa, breaking the fourth wall and looking directly at the camera. A photo of Apu on the nightstand helped make it very clear they were no longer talking about the fictional bedtime story. “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”
“Some things will be dealt with at a later date,” says Marge, also to the camera.
“—If it all,” Lisa concludes.
Groening shared this strong comment shortly after the imbroglio erupted.
I’m proud of what we do on the show. And I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended.
That was in April, a lifetime ago in Social Justice Time. Now, it appears Apu is heading for the exit, stage far left.
[Producer and filmmaker Adi Shankar] told Indiewire in an interview that “multiple sources” told him that Apu would be quietly dropped in order to avoid further controversy. The character has been the subject of complaints about stereotyping South Asians, intensifying in the last two years.
Losing a supporting player on a long-running show doesn’t matter on the surface. ApuGate still reveals a number of ugly truths.
Actors Won’t Stand Up for Their Fellow Stars
Actors can’t stop sharing their views on virtually every hot button topic today. Abortion. Immigration. Gun control. President Trump. What subject shuts them up? Seeing a show like the “Simpsons” buckle to the PC Police. Do they privately think the controversy is overblown? Are they sad to see Hank Azaria the voice of Apu, out of a gig? Are they considered about the chilling effect on free speechg ApuGate delivers?
If so, they’re not talking or tweeting about it.
If ‘The Simpsons’ Can’t Stand Up Against Social Justice Warriors…
It’s hard to fight the PC Police when you’re the new show in town. A freshman series has far less professional cache than, say, “The Big Bang Theory” or “Last Man Standing.”
“The Simpsons?” It’s simply one of the biggest shows of the past 30 years. The comedy’s cultural footprint spans film, television, music and books. And let’s not forget the merchandise. When a powerful show like that can’t stand up to a Social Justice attack, what does that say for smaller projects with far less cultural power?
Hollywood Fears Fellow Liberals, Not Conservatives
When conservatives complained about the lack of a flag planting in “First Man,” the film’s creative team didn’t apologize. Nor did they try to appease their Red State critics. They doubled down on their artistic choice.
That’s their choice.
Even after the film under-performed at the box office the same players held firm. Compare that to Team Simpson’s reaction to ApuGate. It speaks volumes.
The same holds true for stars who regularly insult President Donald Trump, the GOP or conservative voters. They rarely, if ever, express remorse for their blistering comments. Nor do they apologize for saying cruel, hurtful things on social media.
They don’t fear conservatives. They do fear their fellow liberals. Just ask Groening.
The Media Doesn’t Have Artists’ Backs
Reporters clearly take sides in nearly all news stories today. We’re living in a Golden Age of Liberal Bias, and it seems to get worse each week.
The same holds true for entertainment reporters. They either blandly report or ignore stories that make liberals look badly. Or, in the case of ApuGate, they stand firmly on the side of the PC Police.
Other Artists Are Watching, Fearfully
Do you know who’s watching ApuGate play out? Writers, directors and showrunners. They see those Social Justice Warriors emerge with a high profile scalp, and they realize they could be next if they anger the wrong group, accidentally or otherwise.
The ‘Offended’ Group in Question Doesn’t Always Matter
Some Indian-Americans are offended by Apu. Some aren’t. Has there been a mass outcry against the character? Have Indian-Americans vowed to protest the show if Apu isn’t changed or eradicated? If those movements exist they’re modest in size.
So why nix Apu in the first place if the people who should be universally outraged by the character … aren’t?
Stars Cower When Called Out by PC Police
Apu is brought to life by Azaria, a veteran star with a long list of screen credits. Surely someone of his stature could defend Apu, explain why the “outrage” is overblown and promote the character’s positive attributes.
[Azaria] has said he’s “willing and happy” to step aside as the voice of Apu or to help transition the character into “something new,” calling it “the right thing to do, to me.”
It’s hardly an isolated incident. When Social Justice Warriors targeted Scarlett Johansson for signing up to play a trans character in “Rub and Tug” she offered up a strong defense. Then, just as quickly, she folded.
The film project is now in limbo.
Mandy Patinkin similarly buckled when the same Social Justice mob attacked him for replacing a black actor in an ethnically diverse way.
The play, “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” closed shortly after Patinkin, a major Broadway attraction, left.