The recent discussion about The Simpsons’ Apu, the Hank Azaria-voiced Indian character that many critics have decried as a racist stereotype, culminated in an unsavory and wholly unsatisfying response from the animated show’s creative team. Now, the Fox bigwigs have weighed in on the issue.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Fox chairman and CEO Dana Walden was asked about the swirling controversy involving the character at the TCA press tour in Beverly Hills, to which she responded:
“We have had the conversation with [executive producer] Jim Brooks and his team and we’ve basically left it up to them,” Walden said. “They’ve treated the characters with so much respect. We trust them to handle it in a way that will be best for the show... ultimately we decided that would be their decision.”
After last season’s episode left critics with an even more sour taste in their mouths than before, Walden says that there may be more to come in terms of addressing Apu.
“In a day of social media where fans are able to have a public forum, I can’t say ultimately we were surprised,” she said. “I think it’s good information for the creators to receive... they focused on the reaction and I think that’s partially informing how they will move forward.” Partially. As The Simpsons heads toward its 30th season and a future with no end in sight, its creative team will be under the same (if not more) scrutiny as it moves forward, and the criticism shows no signs of waning.
Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of the TCA 2018 summer press tour.