Bill Maher offered his take on the controversy over Apu on “The Simpsons” after the show addressed the issue in a recent episode.
“Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect,” said Lisa Simpson about the once-beloved convenience store owner voiced by Hank Azaria, and now condemned for perpetuating racial stereotypes. “What can you do?”
“Exactly! What can you do?” said Maher on Friday’s edition of “Real Time”. “Label us all degenerates for not being what we would eventually become? Twenty years ago the jokes on ‘Friends’ were just funny. Now some millennials… find the jokes sexist, transphobic and fat-shaming.”
During his “New Rules” segment, Maher also touched on Molly Ringwald’s recent essay for The New Yorker in which she rewatched some of her iconic John Hughes movies and cringed at some of the politically incorrect content.
“Should we dig [Hughes] up and yell at him?” Maher continued. “You can’t blame someone for not being ‘woke’ 30 years before ‘woke’ was a thing.”
As Maher sees it, attempting to whitewash vintage TV shows and movies in an attempt to bring them up to date with current societal mores is an exercise in futility.
“Stop being surprised every time you watch an old movie or TV show and find some of the ideas in it are… old,” he quipped.
“If you spend your time combing through old TV shows to identify stuff that by today’s standards looks bad, you’re not ‘woke’, you’re just a d*****bag,” he added.
In fact, Maher took a shot at millennials who arrogantly assume they’re the only generation to be “woke.”
“We’re never finished evolving. No matter how ‘woke’ you think you are, you are tolerating things right now that will make you cringe in 25 years: Beauty pageants, mass incarceration, putting our parents in old-age homes, how we treat animals,” he noted.
“But aren’t we adult enough to separate what we like about an old movie from what we don’t?” he asked, pointing to the Tom Hanks 1988 hit “Big” as an example. “We can watch ‘Big’ as a movie about a kid who becomes an adult, and not as a movie about a grown woman who f**ks a 12-year-old boy.”
You can watch Maher’s entire NSFW rant in the video above.
In the meantime, “The Simpsons” has a big milestone on Sunday, April 29 when the show will air its 636th episode and officially become the longest-running scripted primetime series on TV, breaking the record held for four decades by “Gunsmoke”.