Racism in the Simpsons? No way! (Part 2)

So following on from my earlier complaint about racist jokes and stereotypes in the Simpsons, I would like to highlight another example.


Firstly we have Apu, the owner of the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store in Springfield… who happens to be Indian Hindu. His full name Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is a mockery in itself. Almost all people of Indian origin have names as long as the alphabet don’t they, so the joke is okay, right? To add further insult to the character portrayal of a true Indian we see in several episodes that he has a family consisting of a wife and eight children, yes eight! It is not untruthful to say that the asian community do tend to have large families but so do other communities that are not asian. Why does the central Indian character in the Simpsons have to have eight children? Am i supposed to find it funny… I guess i just missed the joke. Aside from that Apu dedicates his life and time to his job at the Kwik-E-Mart, yes… he is indeed a workaholic – a true portrayal of the Indian community – Shop owners who eat, sleep and breath work.

There’s a clip I found in the show where Homer goes into a store to buy illegal fireworks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqfxmWbelcQ. The store owner who is Indian pretends not to want to sell the fireworks to Homer when another person is in the store but once he leaves he leads Homer into a secret room in the back of his store which is full of illegal fireworks which he is happy to sell to Homer. That’s right, you can always rely on your local Indian store owner to supply you with dodgy merchandise when you need it because they’re all crooks at heart willing to sell you banned goods for extra profit.

It’s all fun and laughs when a cartoon character is being made the subject of a racist joke but how does this reflect on real people in real life? I’m sure many Indians are offended by this portrayal of their community. I certainly am and i’m not even Indian which says a lot.

Here is a link I found on this very same topic. I do not own any of the text or images used on this blog i’m about to share. I only wish to highlight my point by showing you girls and gents what was discussed on the blog which was written by RESISTANCE. http://resistracism.wordpress.com/2007/07/09/racism-as-entertainment/

Enjoy and please share your views: Do we have a valid point about the Apu character?

Image taken from: http://www.wiso.uni-hamburg.de/fileadmin/sozialoekonomie/hund/sonst._bilder/octuplets.jpg


2 thoughts on “Racism in the Simpsons? No way! (Part 2)

  1. Morolayo says:

    I never pictured racism being in a cartoon so your blog about this is very insightful. I reakon its this kind of imagery or representation of ethnic minorites that leads to intolence and sterotying! Its in this sense how the media are very ideological i mean they could have decided to represent the Indian/ Hindu family differently but they didnt. At the end of the day this just illustrates how racism might still exist but in a covertly.

    • eveemay says:

      Thanks for the comment Morolayo. Indeed the media is ideological. Very few people notice the racial stereotypes hidden in cartoons simply because they -are- cartoons: harmless fun for the children (and mature ones). These kinds of misrepresentations of different cultures is dangerous, especially to children. Racism still very much exists in the media and remains a difficult problem to overcome. I only want people to be more aware of the nature of so called entertainment today.

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