Fans Are Pissed Off At How Lisa Simpson Was Used To Respond To The Apu Controversy
Lisa Simpson has always been woke.
Fans of The Simpsons have been pretty disappointed with the official response to the Apu controversy, in which the show’s writers basically shrugged their shoulders and tried to ignore criticism of the way they’ve depicted one of Springfield’s few South Asian characters.
The criticism stems from a documentary titled The Problem with Apu, made by comedian Hari Kondabolu last year. In a recent episode of The Simpsons titled ‘No Good Read Goes Unpunished’, the controversy is alluded to in a scene where Marge attempts to clean up a problematic bedtime story in order to make it less offensive.
“Well, what am I supposed to do?” asks Marge.
“It’s hard to say,” responds Lisa, turning to face the camera. “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”
Of all the characters on this show, Lisa Simpson is the least likely to say something like this. pic.twitter.com/9vEFnxpazb
— Shaun (@Gains__) April 9, 2018
Fans find it particularly jarring and unfair that Lisa Simpson, of all characters, was used as a mouthpiece to shut down the conversation about race and representation, considering her history of campaigning for social justice.
In particular, people are referencing a 1994 episode called ‘Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy’, where Lisa campaigns for a less sexist doll. In the episode, Lisa discovers her favourite doll says problematic and sexist things, and she campaigns the company to get it change, only to have them belittle her complaints.
The parallel has not been lost on fans.
The episode isn’t just that Lisa’s idea of Malibu Stacy doesn’t line up with the canon, her angry is because she understands how dangerous bad representation, especially representation aimed at children, can be! pic.twitter.com/PdJryn9H3X
— Hamish Ridley Steele (@hamishsteele) April 9, 2018
@TheSimpsons So, 1994 Lisa Simpson, the one who fought to fix Malibu Stacy when realizing representation mattered and was pissed about how a girl's toy was all about shopping, probably wants to beat the shit out of 2018 Lisa Simpson over that episode. You have all lost your way..
— R.F. Switch (@RFSwitchArt) April 10, 2018
Here's part of the Malibu Stacy informational film from "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy" we cut for time (from the table draft I used in the room.) pic.twitter.com/d342Hmscax
— Josh Weinstein (@Joshstrangehill) September 23, 2017
Having Lisa roll her eyes and scoff at political correctness seems a wild juxtaposition to her earlier, rather trademarked brand of fiery political activism. In fact, it seems unrealistic and almost cruel to push the show’s response from her.
The Simpsons dismissing The Problem With Apu as "political correctness" was bad enough, but having it come from Lisa Simpson felt cruel.
Lisa has always been about open-mindedness and re-examining her values when challenged by perspective.
Real Lisa would not approve. pic.twitter.com/FpmAArAcUe
— Beth Elderkin (@BethElderkin) April 9, 2018
It would be a sad end for The Simpsons to slowly warp into an alt-right mouthpiece which scoffs and rejects the values the show used to espouse — like what we saw happen with Roseanne.
Honestly, it’s probably time for the show to end, and we can just re-watch the good episodes from 20 years ago.
Just now occured to me the Simpsons literally did "no, it is the children who are wrong" about themselves and didn't even realize it https://t.co/YoNrZG6Up2
— Ken Lowery (@kenlowery) April 10, 2018
The Simpson’s using Lisa Simpson of all people to blast “political correctness” is a perfect example of why the show should’ve been cancelled about 15 years ago.
— Osman Faruqi (@oz_f) April 9, 2018