A politically incorrect moment with Apu

The Simpsons invited controversy last week by responding to criticisms about their Apu character and racial stereotyping. The accusations are both accurate and 30 years late. As The Simpsons has progressed, Apu’s character has, as well; He isn’t the common stereotype he was in his first appearance in February 1990.

My favorite Apu moment is the final question on his citizenship test:

That scene seems like something television couldn’t get away with today – not because of Apu, but because so many are so willing to put the same effort into historical literacy and nuance as the test taker.

Modern media doesn’t have a lot of room for nuance, which is one reason I argue The Simpsons’ producers will have trouble resolving their Apu problem.

[Washington’s NFL team]’s name will definitely change

This promo for South Park’s 18th season – really? 18? – debuted yesterday during the Eagles/Redskins game:

Twenty years ago, calls for the Redskins to change their name could have been dismissed as a fringe cause for politically correctness. Slowly, those calls have echoed by more mainstream liberals who previously might have cared as much or who might dismissed questions about a sports team as unimportant.

But losing South Park? That’s a good sign that the momentum for a name change has spilled over from a left-wing niche issue and into the mainstream. Dan Snyder may not like it (or may intend to use it as a bargaining chip in negotiations for a newer new stadium), but the Redskins team name probably has less than a decade left.