'The Problem with Apu' is a 2017 documentary film written by and starring comedian Hari Kondabolu. The film focuses on the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian immigrant in the animated sitcom 'The Simpsons' who, for a period, was the only figure of South Asian heritage to appear regularly on mainstream U.S. television. The film explores encounters with negative stereotypes, racial microaggressions and slurs against people of Indian and South Asian heritage disseminated through the character (wikipedia).
Watch this honest, comedic, and powerful film before looking deeply at a classic episode of the U.S's longest running sitcom.
This booklet includes:
- 1 page of pre-viewing questions
- 13 deeper thinking questions to answer while watching the film. Students will be asked to connect to the content that they are viewing.
- 6 questions to complete while watching S4E12 of 'The Simpsons.' However, these questions could be applied to most episodes. These questions are more looking for and identifying stereotypes than critiquing them.
'The Problem with Apu;' Currently available on American itunes for $4.99
'Marge vs. the Monorail' S4E12: available on itunes or on dvd
Note: I also ask the class to discuss 'The Simpsons's' response to the documentary as a group.
Seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyMR73D33YU