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Using ‘The Simpsons’ to explain how Asian Americans are overlooked

Using ‘The Simpsons’ to explain how Asian Americans are overlooked

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian American character who operates the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store in the fictional town of Springfield and is known for the catch phrase “thank you, come again,” has served as the animated series’ running immigrant punchline for almost 30 years.

“What bothered me about Apu is how he stood in for my parents, replacing their real stories and real struggles and their really complicated lives with an accent,” said comedian Hari Kondabolu in his documentary “The Problem with Apu,”

Since there were so few Indian Americans represented in the media, it was an impression that stuck.

“If that’s the way (people) know or understand your community, that’s what they are going to look for,” said Shilpa Dave, assistant professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and author of Indian Accents: Brown Voice and Racial Performance in American Television and Film. Read more…

Using ‘The Simpsons’ to explain how Asian Americans are overlooked

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