8,009 MORE Offensive Characters The Simpsons Should Do Away With
On Sunday "The Simpsons" addressed the complaint that the character of Apu is offensive to people of Southeast Asian (specifically, Indian) descent. It wasn't a hit with 100% of the audience.
Last year, comedian Hari Kondabolu released a documentary talking about how the character of Apu has done damage to the way people of South Asian heritage are perceived in America. And also, the character is voiced by a...Duhn,duhn, DUHN...."NOT-Indian-actor".
Let's ignore for the moment that Apu is actually one of the least ridiculous characters AND that he also represents many of the most positive stereotypes about South Asians (well-educated, hard-working, civic-minded) and pretend that ONLY the negative stereotypes exist. OK, fine. Then, under those very specific rules, I will say that Apu needs to go. But, using those same rules there are a few other characters that have no place on a beloved American institution like "The Simpsons".
Here's my list of 8,008 Simpsons characters that are too P.C. for T.V.
- Cletus the Slack-jawed Yokel
Characteristics: uneducated, inbred, rural, white
Why It's Offensive: The name of the character is Cletus, the Slack-jawed Yokel! Amazingly, I can't find anything on the Wikipedia entry for this character that indicates any controversy over this obvious racial stereotype. Imagine if the Simpsons had a character named " (fill in your own worst stereotypes of a certain ethnicity or religion here")
- Groundskeeper Willie
Characteristics: Scottish, quick-tempered, borderline feral, flea-infested, loves haggis.
Why It's Offensive: Not all people of Scottish heritage are drunken brutes who are more comfortable sleeping outdoors than in. This caricature is deeply insulting to the people of Scotland, except that it totally isn't because two Scottish towns actually got in a dispute over which got to claim Willie as a native son.
- Comic Book Guy
Characteristics: Slovenly, obese, condescending, unloved, pathetic
Why It's Offensive : Hoo-boy. This one hits close to home. As a lifelong fan of comic books, sci-fi AND Tolkein I strongly object to this offensive character. Not ALL nerds are neck-bearded, overweight, basement dwellers. Sure, all of them I personally know are. But I've seen videos of really hot girls that dress up in Cosplay and go to Comic Cons. You're telling me THOSE fans are doing that for some motivation other than pure love of geek-culture. Worst...character...ever!
- Rich Texan
Characteristics: Rich, Texan
Why It's Offensive: Not every well-off person from Texas shoots off two revolvers every time he gets excited. Sure, we all carry two pistols but we limit our spontaneous gun-play to once a week. Twice a week, tops. This hurtful stereotype has done more to undermine the good name of hot-headed lovers of the Second Amendment since Yosemite Sam.
- Bumblebee Man
Characteristics: Latino, clumsy, speaks in nonsensical Spanish, dresses as giant bumblebee.
Why It's Offensive: ??? Look at this guy! This character seems to imply that Mexican television is so bad that they can just dress a guy up as an insect, do a bunch of slapstick and become famous.
- Drederick Tatum, Carl, Lou the Cop
Why It's Offensive: All of these African American characters are voiced by a white man...Hank Azaria! The same white actor who does the voice of Apu. Since this is one of the bones of contention brought up in the Apu documentary, I assume it's enough of a disqualifying factor for any character voiced by any actor not of their exact same ethnicity.
- All the Rest of Them
Characteristics: everything, played for laughs, actor not identical to character, made someone mad once, etc.
Why It's Offensive: It just is and if you don't agree YOU'RE part of the problem!!