'Simpsons' Creator Matt Groening Says Apu Controversy Is 'People Pretending To Be Offended'

The character has been accused of promoting insensitive stereotypes.

‘The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening has dismissed the controversy surrounding long-standing character Apu.

While, for years, there have been conversations around whether Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu promotes harmful stereotypes, the debate hit headlines again when the documentary ‘The Problem With Apu’ was released last year.

However, in an interview to commemorate ‘The Simpsons’ becoming the longest scripted primetime show in US history, Matt admitted to feeling like people were upset for no reason.

Matt Groening at Comic-Con last summer
Matt Groening at Comic-Con last summer
Mike Coppola via Getty Images

He told USA Today: “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.”

When asked for further comment on the way the subject was recently addressed on the show, when fictional characters Marge and Lisa suggesting that those who took issue with the portrayal of Apu were being oversensitive, Matt added simply: “We’ll let the show speak for itself.”

The episode, ‘No Good Read Goes Unpunished’, sees Marge discovers a popular children’s book is full of antiquated stereotypes.

Following this, Lisa is heard saying to her mother: “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”


A photo of Apu alongside the popular ‘Simpsons’ catchphrase “don’t have a cow” was then revealed in the background.

Last week, voice actor Hank Azaria - who has provided the voice of Apu for almost 30 years - said he would be willing to “step aside” and allow an Indian actor to play the character henceforth, while also calling for more South Asian representation in the ‘Simpsons’ writers’ room.

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