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Citadel’s Priyanka Chopra Jonas Recalls The Simpsons’ Apu Being The “Bane of her Life”


Back in the early 1990s, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon was a core character of The Simpsons, but in recent years the character has faded into the background after becoming the subject of much derision for his exaggerated accent and stereotypical attributes. While speaking with British Vogue, Citadel star Priyanka Chorpa Jonas recalled her appearance in the popular animated sitcom and how ironic it was considering Apu was “the bane of her life” as a child.


Apu has become the subject of much controversy in the last few years, with voice actor Hank Azaria being criticized for being a white man voicing an Indian character and the character being labeled racially insensitive and offensive. The controversy was even addressed by The Simpsons in a season 29 episode entitled ‘No Good Read Goes Unpunished’ and since then Apu has become a background “crowd character.”

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Chopra Jonas was given a Simpsons makeover back in 2018 when illustrators Stefan Monda and Rino Russo imagined her wedding to Nick Jonas within the world of the Springfield family, something that the actress cannot help but see as ironic considering how she viewed the sitcom’s Apu during her time growing up. She said:

“To be on The Simpsons in my wedding dress was really funny and ironic, considering Apu was the bane of my life when I was growing up. Everybody kept asking me why I didn’t speak like Apu, why my accent wasn’t like Apu? – Apu had a really exaggerated Indian accent, as we all know now. This was really bittersweet and funny because obviously, The Simpsons are an iconic part of most of our childhood, but it was also the irony of me in an Indian dress marrying a white guy. Great [Laughs]”

Related:Hank Azaria and Hari Kondabolu Make Amends After The Problem with Apu Controversy


Hank Azaria Recently Felt He Needed To Apologize for Voicing Apu For So Many Years.

There are still many fans of The Simpsons who will argue that the over-the-top stereotypical way Apu is portrayed in the series is no different to how Chief Wiggum is an exaggeration of the donut-eating police chief, Montgomery Burns is the stereotypical money-grabbing business tycoon and Tony Montana is a parody of every Godfather-style Mafia boss. However, actor Hank Azaria doesn’t see it that way. He recently opened up about how meeting a young Indian American in a high school talk made him see just how much of a problem Apu was. He said:

“I was speaking at my son’s school, I was talking to the Indian kids there because I wanted to get their input. A 17-year-old … he’s never even seen The Simpsons but knows what Apu means. It’s practically a slur at this point. All he knows is that is how his people are thought of and represented to many people in this country. I really do apologize. It’s important. I apologize for my part in creating that and participating in that. Part of me feels like I need to go to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologize. And sometimes I do.”



This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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