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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 25th May 2018 > Hari Kondabolu

Hari Kondabolu

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LAST NOVEMBER, BROOKLYN-BASED COMIC HARI KONDABOLU LAUNCHED The Problem With Apu, a documentary that questioned the racial legacy of Simpsons character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, described by Kondabolu as “a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father.” It was a way into the larger issue of how minorities are represented in the press, and the doc sparked heated, widespread discussions on social media. It also prompted Hank Azaria, the white actor who is the voice Apu, to say he was “perfectly willing and happy” to give up the role. (Simpsons creator Matt Groening, meanwhile, continues to shrug off criticism.) “There’s an irony of, as a kid, I hated being associated with Apu, and now, as an adult, I’m forever associated with him,” says Kondabolu. He hopes to change that with his new Netflix stand-up special, Warn Your Relatives, directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. While the comedian continues to dig into “aggressive and painful things,” the show also proves that, first and foremost, he’s funny.

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