Priyanka Chopra is the latest celebrity to speak out about the controversy surrounding “The Simpsons” character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, with her insisting he was “the bane of my life growing up.”
The 35-year-old appeared on Thursday’s “The View”, where she was quizzed about Apu being a racist Indian stereotype.
Chopra, who lived in India before moving to America as a teenager, explained: “A lot of people are talking about, ‘Oh, the show was so successful for 30 years, why are we suddenly waking up and being offended by a character that everyone loved?’”
She added of the difference in opinion between now and 1989, when “The Simpsons” first aired, “What happened from that time to now, the population of Indian Americans in America has tripled. So the voice is louder. Representation for people of colour is louder. There’s the internet and the media, where people can have a conversation.”
Chopra went on, “I was always asked when I was in high school at 14, 15, why I didn’t speak like that. Or are my parents doctors… they are doctors, which is a stereotype. Did I find gold in my rivers? Did I go to school on elephants? I always had questions like that.
“So I think, yes, it is a time where, why try to erase stereotype? Yes, it is a cartoon. Yes, it’s a pop culturally super successful show. But that gives it more responsibility. It’s out of date on so many levels.”
Chopra’s comments come after Hank Azaria, who voices Apu, opened up about the whole thing during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”.
The actor not only called on the show to employ more South Asian writers, but he also said he’d be “happy to step aside” to help the character transition into something new.