Mohammad Bin Salman and Vladimir Putin high-fiving wasn’t the only notable aspect of the G20 in Buenos Aires yesterday. Argentine news channel Crónica TV’s coverage of the event used an image of Apu from “The Simpsons” to announce the arrival of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, captioned with the words “Llegó Apu” (Apu arrives). The move has been widely criticized.
Among those to take notice is comedian and filmmaker Hari Kondabolu, whose documentary “The Problem With Apu” brought increased scrutiny to the portrayal of the Kwik-E-Mart clerk. Apu, last name Nahasapeemapetilon, has come to be seen in an increasingly negative light over the years, with some arguing that the character is doing more harm than good nearly 30 years after debuting on “The Simpsons.”
In an interview with IndieWire at the end of October, producer Adi Shankar said, “I got some disheartening news back, that I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” said Shankar in an interview with IndieWire. “They aren’t going to make a big deal out of it, or anything like that, but they’ll drop him altogether just to avoid the controversy.”
“This couldn’t be true, right?” Kondabolu tweeted after seeing a report of the Apu image:
This couldn’t be true, right? https://t.co/xiEzNgpXip
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) November 30, 2018
— Rajini Vaidyanathan (@BBCRajiniV) November 30, 2018
— Patrick Gillespie (@Pat_Gillespie) November 29, 2018