Afternoon Ethics Incitement, 4/10/2018: All About Apu

Ethics Alarms covered the silly, hyper-political correctness attacks on ‘The Simpsons” character  Apu Nahasapeemapetilon—Oh NO! They are making fun of Indian NAMES!—, the Indian immigrant owner of the local convenience store. Now “The Simpsons” itself addressed the issue:

Naturally, the progressive victim-mongers who cooked up this phony controversy are mad at Marge and Lisa. Here is a typical response from the Angry, Perpetually Offended Left, by former TV critic and lawyer-turned-blogger Linda Holmes, who I am now convinced turned away from the law because she couldn’t meet the tough reasoning requirements.

(And have a mentioned before that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for social justice warrior drivel like this? I’m sure I have…)

At the end of her screed, she writes,

“I know: It’s a cartoon. That is the easiest, silliest response to this debate. It’s just a cartoon. It’s just a comedy. Or, as the photo of Apu pointedly says, don’t have a cow. But the show doesn’t have this defense to call on, because it has accepted accolades for decades as a thoughtful, intelligent, satirical work that deserves to be taken seriously. It has accepted a Peabody Award, and a GLAAD Media Award. It has been praised and slobbered over and quoted and praised again, and to plead insignificance at this point is unavailing.”

I hate to be harsh, but this is idiotic beyond excusing. To say “It’s a cartoon” is not to say that it is insignificant, and to say “It’s just a comedy” is not to argue that its content doesn’t matter.  It’s a cartoon means that cartoons as an art form, exaggerate, stereotype and mock individuals and groups using funny faces, voices, words and actions, and anyone who takes personal offense—or who works hard to find offense– at a cartoon that was not intended to offend is best dealt with by saying to him or her, “Avoid animated entertainment. You don’t understand it.” And maybe a pat on the head will help.

This is me, by the way:

 

(I’m not offended, though I am not yellow, have broader shoulders, my skull isn’t that big in proportion to by body and don’t have that big line in my forehead.)

“Azaria makes money to keep imitating Peter Sellers imitating an Indian man,” Holmes writes. Damn right: Peter Sellers did hilarious ethnic imitations, as did Sid Caesar, Danny Kaye ,  Bill Dana, John Bellushi, Arte Johnson, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Lewis, Hans Conreid, and many others. Azaria evokes Sellers because Sellers was funny. The effort by political correctness-obsessed, virtue-signaling addicted, grandstanding cultural locusts who want to create such hypersensitivity that humor is impossible needs to be resisted, and Apu is as good a place to start as any.

Holmes slams the Simpsons’ response because, she says, “The human beings at issue go largely ignored.” Oh, blechh. There are no human beings at issue. Nobody with a sense of proportion, reason or humor regards Apu as a statement about real Indians. She says some Indians claim to have been “bullied” by Apu impressions. In college, my Medford Mass. roommate with the classic Boston accent I managed to avoid was kidded by students doing their lame “Hahvahd Yahd” bit. There’s no difference. He laughed along with them. I suppose he should have formed a group to stop all of the Kennedy inpersonators (there’s still one on “The Simpsons”: Mayor Quimby.)

Holmes sums up the show’s rebuttal to the Anti-Apu protests as “We have heard how we have hurt people, and we honestly don’t care.” That’s about right. When humor is not allowed to “hurt” anyone, then humor is doomed. And when a society takes seriously someone who claims to be hurt by a character  like Apu, that society is hostile to speech, humor and entertainment.

79 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Arts & Entertainment, Humor and Satire, Popular Culture, Race, U.S. Society

79 responses to “Afternoon Ethics Incitement, 4/10/2018: All About Apu

  1. Other Bill

    You made an appearance on a Simpsons episode?

  2. adimagejim

    The offended rule the world! Why? Because it is the way to keep their opposition silent. If you do not comply, you are accused of one those isms, taking you from being offensive to being a prosecuteable purveyor of hate speech. Then they’ve got you exactly where they want you, by your economic short hairs.

    If you watched any of the Zuckerberg testimony today you heard him promise Senators to remove harmful information and hate speech from Facebook. (i.e. Limit the First Amendment for some.) Who will adjudicate? You guessed it, the offended.

    • Aleksei

      I am offended at the notion, that the offended rule the world. I would have you know I am very funny and have a good sense of humor, and that was not funny! (say offended people all over the world)

      The offended are our betters, they went to college, and they know things!

      • dragin_dragon

        So did I. So do I. I try to offend at least 2 people every day. Do svidanya.

        • RUSSIANS HAVE INFILTRATED ETHICS ALARMS!

          …and Texas

          • dragin_dragon

            Not only that, but they’re colluding with me.

            • Good thing that is not a crime…

            • luckyesteeyoreman

              Tsk-Tsk! You guys! Everybody knows: Texas belongs to the GERMANS. (and they kindly tolerate the Czechs and Texians and Tennesseeans – while continuing to work on being more tolerant of the more eastern Slavs) BEWARE the undocumented Californians!

              • dragin_dragon

                Boy, have you got the part about California right. Tell you a funny story. A California guy came here a number of years ago. Somehow, he managed to get fairly high in the Texas bureaucracy…high enough that he issued a poll wanting to know what we were going to put on our newly redesigned license plates. His personal favorite was “The Friendship State” and he campaigned for it. Somebody wrote to the Governor’s Office, mentioning that Texas is, was and always will be “The Lone Star State” and our plates have ALWAYS reflected that. Apparently the Govenor got more than the one letter, since the program and the bureaucrat disappeared without a trace.

  3. Other Bill

    I see that’s “ET Canada.” Is that short for “Earnestness Throughout Canada?”

    • JLo

      Lots of earnestness here but sadly, ET Canada is just Mary Hart’s Canadian legacy. I can’t believe Jack made we watch that show! Argh.

      Ros, the bearded guy, is also a radio morning show host in Toronto and his morning show partner is Mocha Frap. Not a station I listen to but one can’t avoid the ads.

      • Other Bill

        Hah! Ugh. Is that “Mocha Frappe” in Quebecois?

      • Andrew V

        Why does it seem like every time I hear about some new, absolutely bananas leftist nonsense, it’s always coming from Toronto?

        And what kind of joyless, indoctrinated 8-year old can’t laugh at a fat joke?

  4. Other Bill

    Maybe the appropriate response to these guys would be “Take off, hosers.” Eh?

  5. JutGory

    She might have a point, we’re it not for the fact that the cartoon has dozens of characters who fit into different stereotypes. Fat Tony, Groundskeeper Willie, Comic Book Guy, the list goes on. To complain about Apu alone is not only to cherry-pick in a most extreme way, it is to misunderstand fundamentally (and probably deliberately) how this show is structured and tells its stories.
    -Jut

    • Chris

      Don’t we as a society judge racial and ethnic stereotypes differently from other stereotypes due to our fraught history with race? I’m not on board with the idea that stereotyping Indians is on the same ethical plane as stereotyping comic book nerds, and I say that as a huge comic book nerd. (I dislike fat stereotypes too, for that matter, and don’t find them funny.)

      It seems to me the best response to the controversy would be for the Simpsons to introduce new Indian characters to exist alongside Apu who don’t fit neatly into Indian stereotypes like he does. They can still be stereotypes of other groups–gimme a Goth Indian, an aggressive atheist Indian, a stoner Indian–but there’s no need for them to be a representative of their entire ethnicity the way Apu is.

      • Junkmailfolder

        I’m not a religious watcher of the Simpsons, but what stereotypes does embody, besides working at a 7-11 type place (doesn’t he own it though?), and the strong accent?

        • Other Bill

          Chris, here’s a suggestion for you buddy. You want to see discrimination in all it’s glory, spend a week or two in India. And have fun.

          • Chris

            That’s a non sequitur, but your rejection of American exceptionalism is noted.

            • I’m curious, what other countries have you visited and what other cultures have you had reasonable amounts of immersion in?

              I studied for a semester in Italy, which isn’t much no doubt but we interacted with many other nations. In my job, many of our sub-contractors are Hispanic (predominantly Mexican, but a good representation from other latin countries).

              I can comfortably say that America, American culture, and Americans (even the ones with bigger than normal so-called ‘microaggressions’) are LEAPS AND BOUNDS ahead of the rest of the world in the realm of controlling human nature’s more xenophobic urges.

              America IS exceptional in tolerance of others, even with our stumbles.

              • Chris

                I agree. And I’ve never even been out of the country; we’re going to Rome for our honeymoon, though, so I’m excited for that.

                But that’s still a non sequitur, since my argument was not that America is more racist than other countries, nor could it be fairly interpreted that way.

                • I don’t think it’s a sequitur, I think it’s a valid objection to just how far we take our crusade to “not offend”. At some point, expending increasing amounts of cultural energy to combat an “evil” while experiencing decreasing marginal returns on the effort, when there are other “crusades” to focus on says “Hey, America is doing great in this department…let’s just leave this alone for while”.

                • Rome should be a blast.

                  Get a beer at the McDonald’s next to the Pantheon. That should cover about 2 millennia and 2 continents worth of culture in 20 minutes.

                  The churches around the Piazza del Popolo were pretty neat.

                  Of course everything is pretty neat there.

                  We only visited it 2 or 3 times during our semester…most of our studies were centered out of Florence and the North.

                  • Chris

                    Thanks for the tip!

                    • Ah dang it. Either it’s moved or my memory has faded. Positive there was a McD’s right next to the pantheon in 2005. Maybe not. There’s one a few blocks away now though anyway.

                    • Are you leaving Rome any?

                    • Chris

                      Not sure yet. Might hit Venice.

                    • How long is your honeymoon?

                      Rome is solid, but I think Venice might just edge it out if I had to pick between the two.

                      Especially the surrounding islands like Murano and Burano.

                      Weird thing about Venice is no matter where we walked we somehow still ended up in St Mark’s square. We had to actively navigate away from it.

                      Indiana Jones church isn’t a library. It’s still a functioning church.

                      Biennale art complex was pretty interesting and that’s coming from me (someone who generally thinks modern art is nearly devoid of any nobility, meaning or purpose).

                • I will give an anecdotal story. We had a Japanese exchange student for a year. His first day returning home from AP Physics class he was somewhat curious about what happened. There were seven students in the class and Koske was shocked that two were black. Koske was dumbfounded since he thought all “blacks were inferior.” Go back a few decades and see PM Nakasone of Japan and their attitude. Japan is a marvel of subtle racism. As an American spend some time since I also (I am that old) the overt racism of Charleston in the mid-1950s and the covert that still exists today.

                  I could go on and on since I have traveled extensively in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe. In the United States, you can easily transfer your racism on color, but those lines are becoming less defined.

                  In Italy the significant tourist trap is Pisa. You will get a first-hand look at Italian prejudice against the influx of immigrants.

                • It’s not a non-sequitur, and your embrace of American exceptionalism is noted.

                  But in seriousness, this isn’t really an American issue so much as it’s a Western Culture issue. Western culture was successful because it was more willing to integrate than broad swathes of the rest of the world. The fact that we’re even having this conversation is an indicator of this; this conversation isn’t being had in China, South Africa, or Iran.

                  But there’s a difference between accepting the best from other cultures, from celebrating our differences, and this cultural suicide that is total acceptance at all costs. If we’ve moved to a place where we can no longer even laugh at the absurdity of stereotypes, if we require that our culture be a milquetoast standardized mixture of what everyone else’s culture is, then we fail.

                  • Pennagain

                    Exactly. I would add also that there are enough channels and streamings and YouTube-ies out there to satisfy everyone’s taste ten times over. If you don’t want to share my coloring book: take your own crayons and go home.

              • Chris

                Ah, I see why you may have thought I was judging our country harshly—I said “Don’t we as a society judge racial and ethnic stereotypes differently than other stereotypes due to our fraught history with race?”

                I should have made it more clear that we as a society have also taken pains to reflect on and learn from that history.

                But I think that was clear from context.

          • Matthew B

            You want to see discrimination in all it’s glory, spend a week or two in India.
            I’m headed there at the end of the month and I’m spending 2-1/2 weeks there. I already know it is bad. Many of our suppliers are in China, our factory is in India, and the purchasing manager I work with is from Pakistan.

            I see the hatred in all its glory.

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Pity there isn’t something you can take that will kill your sense of smell while you are there. My dad had to go for a few days (he was in IT) when a lot of stuff was being outsourced, and he said the moment he got off the plane was one huge assault on his nose, with the smell of human you-know-what overwhelming everything else.

              • Must have been 45 years ago I was in New Delhi and remember the carts picking up bodies during the night. Not sure if this goes on today, but would not surprise me. But it is a beautiful country and I found the people very nice.

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  Not to mention collection of “night soil.” Oh, India has some beautiful sights, and the people are usually very pleasant. However, I still find the huge gap between rich and poor and the still-primitive village approach to life there problematic.

                  • A few years ago in China, we were on a canal cruise. Much like Venice with buildings abutting the canal. Laundry hung out, folks fishing, a few raking a dip and so on. The barge stopped so we could explore a market area. We do our tour and I stop to take a leak. The trough runs right into0 the canal.

                    Interesting conversations with our guide “Johnny.” Planty of hate for the Japanese and it goes well beyond WW II. Real venomous. Talked to some Chinese businessmen at our hotel about it and they had quite a lost of Japanese stereotypes.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      I was in Ireland in 2004, and I took a tour of the Easter Rising sites. Despite the fact that the Good Friday Agreement had been in place for six years, and this was the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland, there was still plenty of anti-British hate, some of it quite venomous, unsubtle, and at times profane. During a tour of the Easter Rising sites the guide took two not-entirely-good-natured (and unnecessary) jabs at a British couple, including a poke about the famine, and only stopped when he got a stony “not cool” stare from the majority of the group. Keep eating, breathing, sleeping and speaking hate, and eventually it becomes something you do without thinking, just like buttoning up your shirt in the morning.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        This one’s a tough one. You’re right, there is no one standard for judging stereotypes. The thing is,most stereotypes exist precisely because there is at least some truth to them. Most of them are also a little bit uncomfortable because there is or was some truth to them, sometimes not a very positive truth, and we’d like to think we’ve moved beyond that negative truth. No, the Irish are not all heavy drinkers, but a lot were at one point because life in Ireland after the failure of the 1798 rebellion was so hopeless, and it took a while to come out of that. Some never did, as I can bear witness to as the grandson of an Irish grandfather who drank to the point of acting badly. No, the Indians are not all clueless gas station and convenience store clerks, but it’s hard not to think that after you’ve just seen your sixth such person at a different location in the state. No, the Italians are not all involved in organized crime (speaking as a the son of an Italian dad and granddad who had no time for that), but let’s not pretend Italian organized crime doesn’t exist. It does and it’s still very powerful, though many who go that route end up going to prison and very few end up dying quietly saying that life is beautiful. I still haven’t figured out where the stereotype of Polish people as uncouth and incorrigibly stupid comes from. The history of Poland is not one of either of those things, but all throughout the 1970s everything was dumb Polak this and dumb Polak that. Presumably it comes from Polish immigrants of that time coming here from behind the Iron Curtain, struggling with the language and the new ways, and appearing not too swift because of it. OK, not all Muslims are terrorists, but Islam is the motivation of this nation’s sworn enemies.

        Other stereotypes that are not racial also often have a basis in fact – sometimes not a very comfortable fact. Fat people are usually fat because they eat too much of the wrong stuff and don’t exercise enough, and being fat, as someone whose weight has been up and down, is a net negative. Most comic book geeks are comic book geeks because they don’t fit in with the jocks and the cool crowd, so they get into comics to escape, speaking as a partially reconstructed comics geek who grew up reading mostly Silver Age comics, and the Silver Agier the better. I thought the whole “Justice League Detroit” idea was terrible from the get-go. The same’s often also true of RPGers. If you’re tearing up the football field and banging three cheerleaders on the weekend and giving wedgies and beat-downs during the week, you don’t need to make up an awesome alternative world because your world is already awesome. If you’re one of the victims…not so much. Of course sometimes that awesomeness doesn’t always last, but that’s a separate discussion.

        The fact is that no one is usually a complete stereotype. What is a fact is that the vast majority of folks engage in lazy thinking and don’t need or have time to get to know everyone they see or deal with, so they default to the stereotype without thinking too much about it. The fact is that it also is or was VERY profitable to play on these stereotypes, from Jack Benny to Norman Lear (who was fine especially with black stereotypes) to Blanche Knott’s original “Truly Tasteless Jokes” and on to the Simpsons. Now, anyone who bothers to think this stuff through knows that none of this crap is true, but most people don’t bother to think it through. It’s easier to crack a quick, low-power joke where you get the most laugh for the buck, and then get on with things. It’s also easier to just brush off criticism as others overthinking things or being hypersensitive. It’s also both easy and now profitable to seize on a harmless joke or a joke that’s obviously just a joke, and use it to trash or extort the joker. The difficult part is to be mature, accept humor for what it is, although whether or not you find it funny is another story, and move on.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Bonjourrrrrrr, ya cheese eatin’ surrender monkeys!

  6. One of the great Apu lines is when he gets his citizenship: “Today I am a citizen – which way to the welfare office?”

  7. William Gauci

    “If you watched any of the Zuckerberg testimony today you heard him promise Senators to remove harmful information and hate speech from Facebook. (i.e. Limit the First Amendment for some.) Who will adjudicate? You guessed it, the offended.”

    A minor quibble if I may… If reading Pophat’s blog has taught me one thing, it’s that there is no 1st amendment right on Facebook.

    • DaveL

      While it’s true that there’s no First Amendment right to a platform privately owned by others, I somehow find that argument significantly less persuasive when that private actor announces their censorship while staring down a hostile Congressional committee.

    • Chris

      I was about to make that same point.

    • As a privately owned entity, this is technically correct. But ethically…the near-universal ubiquity of Facebook as a Forum of communication, almost exclusively, elevates it to the level of an institution that you could call Pseudo-Civic…

      Once at that level, ethically, it is obligated to operate as though the 1st Amendment were an absolute on it’s operations.

      • …and they are going to get regulated, much to my disgust.

        (I want them to just lose half their client base and remain the hollow echo chamber they are)

      • William Gauci

        I don’t think there is any real world basis for that argument. Facebook is no more a civic square than YouTube is or Twitter for that matter. Both of which actively filter out and censor content that is contrary to their TOS. All users who partake in their free services are obligated to agree to them before being able to set up an account or upload anything to their services.

        We all like to think that because of the success some of these platforms and how ubiquitous some of them are becoming in our society, that we all own a piece of it in some way, and as such we shouldn’t be censored on our platform of choice. If Facebook went away tomorrow, in reality society as a whole would lose little by way of a civic square to communicate ideas or information.

        The argument that because “everyone uses it” so it can’t censor or filter content can and will work it’s way into many other platforms in time. Also the same argument can work for private brick and mortar businesses can it not? If the majority of people frequent a specific business and use it for socializing and sharing ideas, then it to can be considered a manner of civic arena. Obviously that’s taking it to an extreme to make a point. But we are talking about taking away the rights of a private company to control what it allows on its premises and who can say what to whom.

        I hate to use the slippery slope. But regulating 1st amendment concepts on Facebook leads to doing it in YouTube and Twitter and SnapChat and the next platform that the kids are using. In fact, if you really talk to young people now, Facebook hasn’t been relevant to them for a very long time. I’d be willing to wager that more people under 30 use half a dozen other platforms to keep in touch and up to date than Facebook. Which also is why Facebook has been trying to morph into more than a just a place for Aunt Sally to see pictures of her nieces and nephews for a long time now.

        Finally, I find it interesting that a lot of the same people who would call for first amendment protection on Facebook have no problem with YouTube (another hugely popular platform) removing videos that relate to various gun tutorials and similar videos including conspiracy theories.
        https://www.google.ca/amp/amp.timeinc.net/fortune/2018/03/21/youtube-firearms-videos-crack-down

        • William,

          I think a lot of the angst is that conservatives are being banned without being told why. Just some vague ‘you violated our community standards’ which are not written down where they can be seen.

          Agree that we should not regulate social media, though.

        • Sure there’s a real world argument for privately owned organizations to take on a civic nature.

          And in the case of Facebook, who’s sole purpose is making mass communication available to everyone, Facebook takes on a distinctly 1st Amendment civic role.

          That *ethically* obligates it to treat the 1st Amendment as a nearly absolute guiding principle.

          Whether or not it actually treats the 1st as sacrosanct is immaterial to the notion that Facebook has taken on a role in our society of civic significance.

          My response here doesn’t touch on your last two paragraphs which I am withholding any response for because my initial comment doesn’t even go there. So don’t take my non-responsiveness to those paragraphs as some sort of agreement or disagreement.

  8. Chris Marschner

    Are real clowns offended by Krusty?

    • Chris

      This goes back to my earlier question: don’t we as a society judge racial and ethnic stereotypes differently from other stereotypes? I think we do, and your question is deliberately obtuse…we all know the difference between clowns and Indians. Clowns choose to be clowns, whereas Indians don’t choose to be Indians. Making stereotypes about clowns doesn’t fuel real world racial discrimination.

      • Chris

        And I know the rebuttal to that is “Neither do stereotypes about Indians on a cartoon.” But on one side I’ve heard plenty of Indians say that they have been mocked and bullied with the “Apu” stereotype, and on the other I hear a bunch of white guys saying that Apu has no real world effects at all…gee, who to believe? This is a puzzler.

        • Chris Marschner

          How do you know Apu is Indian? Why did you quickly assume that. He could be Pakistani.

          My comment about Krusty is simply to demonstrate that cartoon sterotypes are in fun otherwise I should be offended by the stereotype of Homer who is a doughnut downing, overweight balding white guy with limited education while the doctor is portrayed as an African American with an education.

          When you rail against the stereotypes of Chief Wiggam, Ned Flanders, the Italian mob guy, or that in general males are stupid or bad and women are smart and sensible then you can say that Apu is a vicious stereotype designed to marginalize Brown people.

          • Chris

            How do you know Apu is Indian? Why did you quickly assume that. He could be Pakistani.

            He’s Indian. You’re really off your game today. The show has been on for thirty years. Why on earth would you assume that I “quickly assumed” that Apu was Indian, rather than realizing I knew a fact about this well-known fictional character that you did not?

            No, really. I’d like an answer to that.

            The rest of your comment is equally dumb. Homer isn’t a white stereotype at all—he is a fat stereotype, and I already said I don’t like those. The show does not portray all men as dumb and women as wise, and you can’t use one intelligent black doctor to argue that it makes a similar statement about blacks and whites. Do you even know what stereotypes are?

            “you can say that Apu is a vicious stereotype designed to marginalize Brown people.”

            My god, what a strawman. I didn’t say this. Not even the guy behind the documentary went that far.

            What a terrible comment, from top to bottom.

            • Homer isn’t a fat stereotype, he’s the dumb, bumbling, uninspiring, inconsequential father stereotype.

              If any stereotypes that entertainment has latched onto actually do have a negative impact on the culture, that is probably the stereotype on the top of the list.

              • Actually, Homer is a stereotype for uninformed, lazy, uneducated, unmotivated, an uninvolved parent, and underemployed white guys.

                I find it simply amazing that “The Simpsons” caved to the grievance crowd. Who will stand up to the social justice warriors? “The Simpsons” poked fun at everyone and everything, and without malice. Stereotypes are defined as “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing”. If Apu is an offensive stereotype, then all of “The Simpsons” characters are offensive. Moreover, if stereotypes are offensive, then every sitcom on television is offensive. Check out the most recent host of comedies this season just on CBS:

                “9JKL” is offensive because its characters are stereotypical New York City oversexed and befuddled Jews.

                “Man with a Plan”: Offensive because it deals with a clueless over-sexed white guy (and thoroughly unfunny – its biggest crime).

                “Mom”: What about “Mom” is not stereotypical toward divorced, single-parenting, alcoholic, dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships?

                “Life in Pieces”: Let’s count the number of stereotypes on that show, shall we? Let’s see: clueless parents raising clueless children who, in turn, raise clueless, spoiled children.

                “Superior Donuts”: How is that show even on the air (erm . . . on cable)? A Jewish guy running a donut shop frequented by lazy and out-of-touch cops, and the only truly woke character is the black guy, often mistaken by the stupid police officers as a common street thug.

                “Young Sheldon”: I guess it is ok to stereotype fundamental Christians, so that show gets a pass, even though it is not anywhere close to amusing.

                I just checked BNC’s line up of entertainment but that network does have too many comedies – besides the truly disappointing Saturday Night Live, so let’s check out ABC.

                ABC:

                “American Housewife”: Dear God! Spare me!

                “black-ish”: Stereotypes run amuck but that’s ok. It’s written by black people, acted by black people, for a black people target audience. Truth be told, it is actually pretty good.)

                “Fresh Off the Boat”: Oh, how many Asian stereotypes an you spot in one 10 minute segment? Too many to count.

                “The Goldbergs” Need I say more?

                “Modern Family”? On, no stereotypes there. Move along.

                I think, humble ethicists, we get the picture. While all of the shows are awash in stereotypes, not one of them is mean spirited or malicious. We are allowed to poke fun at ourselves and others. Not one of those shows listed is offensive (except a few which are guilty of terrible writing and lack of humor). Apu, a cartoon character, is not offensive and no one with a sense of humor should take umbrage at “The SImpsons” for Apu.

                jvb

        • Isaac

          Hmmmm, so stereotypes in comedy are unethical if they could be invoked to mock or bully a group?

          If Christians were SJWs, you’d be about to lose roughly 97% of your favorite entertainment.

  9. It’s…. I love this situation…. So much. Every now and again progressives pick an issue that Obviously Must Change.

    So they do their thing: They write their articles, give their talking heads their marching orders, break out the sharpies and the poster board and go to war. They go to war wrapped in the shielding knowledge that They Are Right and Because God Wills It… I mean… They Are Right… Everyone around them will see the righteousness of their cause and they will of course succeed.

    They have great reasons to think this… It works. How many franchises that they have only the most tenuous of connections to have they barged into, demanded change to, and been rewarded with that change, only to walk away fulfilled, never to think of that franchise again? It might not be fair to blame the decline of these pastimes solely on the infection of a more socially just, watered down, crippling blandness that follows in the wake of these changes, as it’s routinely pointed out to me: Comics failed for a whole lot of reasons, social justice wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg…. But how many franchises thrive after their influx of soy justice? What is the rule, and what is the exception to it?

    Regardless! What I find amusing here is the progressive reaction to loss. When that protective bubble-wrap of We Are Right is popped, progressives REALLY seem to have a hard time coping. I mean, really… They couldn’t get Kaepernick a job, and TYT ran weekly 10 minute promotional videos for him for more than a year afterwards… Obama couldn’t pass gun control and he bawled on live TV… When progressives can’t de-platform speakers they find “problematic”, they burn down their campuses. Don’t even get me started on the penultimate example of the progressive response to Trump.

    And now, The Simpsons passed the buck. They said they understand the concerns, but they aren’t going to change anything. Maybe that’s not true. Maybe Apu will go the way of the Honeybee Guy and be unofficially retired…. But progressives didn’t get their way. Even though They Were Right, the world didn’t change for them, and now they have to deal with loss. They have to know that something in the world Is Not Right. And they aren’t dealing with it well.

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