The Simpsons is one of the longest-running animated sitcoms in the world. The show began in 1989, and now, over 30 years later, the landscape has changed significantly.
The show is known for over-the-top situations and antics, and now they are thinking about changing one particular thing. Keep reading to know more about it…
The Simpsons is an animated show about a family of five who get into various hijinks. One of the ‘jokes’ was about Homer physically hurting his eldest child, Bart. He would strangle Bart right after yelling at him, ‘Why you little!’
The show is currently on its 35th season, and in episode three, they made a major revelation. Homer is visiting a new neighbor with Marge when the neighbor comments on Homer’s strong grip during their handshake.
“See, Marge, strangling the boy has paid off,” Homer says in the episode called “McMansion & Wife.” He then adds: “Just kidding, I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”
People were blown away by this major change. While other shows have changed over the years to include more diverse storylines, The Simpsons is one of those shows that stuck to the original plotlines it came up with.
People commented on what they thought about the change. One user wrote, “Took them long enough.”
Another user wrote an insightful comment, “Homer strangling Bart had always been a sticking point in my love for The Simpsons. I knew it was an old school cartoon gag and not an affirmation of child abuse, but I’m glad they got rid of it. Good on you, @HomerJSimpson, good on you.”
But others were confused. There were those who said they always thought of the strangling as a joke but with this change it felt like they had been viewing Homer abuse his son.
A user tweeted, “Is it just me or is The Simpsons stopping Homer from strangling Bart a bit ??? confusing. It was a joke, but now I feel like all this time I’ve been watching Homer abuse his son. Before, it was just Tom and Jerry esque humour.”
Homer strangling Bart routinely was not the only problem the show had, and has changed. There was also the issue of Appu, a stereotypical Indian convenience store owner.
The character Appu was voiced by Hank Azaria before he stepped away from the role in 2020.
Azaria, who has said his ancestry is “Sephardic Jews from Greece,” was called out publicly in 2017 when Hari Kondabolu, a comedian of Indian descent, condemned how characters like Apu of South-Asian origin have been shown, in a documentary called, ‘The Problem With Apu‘.
Earlier this year on NPR’s podcast, Azaria shared that he regretted playing the role.
“The only really Indian accent that I had context for, apart from guys who worked at the 7-Eleven that I was near in LA, was Peter Sellers in ‘The Party,’” Azaria said. “It was an homage to that, you know, one of my heroes.”
While he had always been skeptical about the character, he said watching Kondabolu’s “The Problem With Apu,” made him realize that he had “hindered” and made the “path harder” for performers that he himself admires.
But after years of self-reflection and digging into the controversy, Azaria admitted that he now finds his casting “embarrassing” and acknowledged how his character fed into “the broader dehumanization of Desi people in the United States.”
Check out the piece below about Hank Azaria’s emotional tribute to Matthew Perry.
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The changes seem like they are going in the right direction. But what do you think of them? Let us know in the comments!
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