Akaash Singh's Defense of Apu | Summary and Q&A

February 8, 2022
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Akaash Singh's Defense of Apu


Comedian discusses nuances of APU cancellation, defends character's significance and legacy.

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Key Insights

  • 🔑 Understanding the impact of cancel culture on public figures' words and intentions.
  • 🔉 Debating the offensive nature of characters like APU and their portrayal in media.
  • ❓ Appreciating the evolution and representation of characters like APU in popular culture.
  • 🐎 Recognizing the complexities of race, stereotypes, and diversity in media portrayals.
  • ❓ Exploring the role of empathy and understanding in addressing controversies surrounding characters like APU.
  • ❓ Challenging the over-correction approach to addressing offensive content without considering the character's evolution.
  • ⚖️ Finding a balance between addressing concerns about representation and appreciating the cultural significance and representation of characters like APU.


The Joe Rogan Experience the thing that you find over time is that people understand you like they'll watch your podcast with Andrew and they've seen you guys for hundreds of hours yes they know you right so like when you're talking if you say something if you misstep or you know if you say something that doesn't turn out to be that they know what ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does cancel culture affect public figures like comedians?

Cancel culture scrutinizes every word and action, forcing public figures to navigate carefully to avoid backlash.

Q: Why is the APU character controversial?

The APU character was criticized for perpetuating stereotypes and voiced by a white actor, sparking conversations about representation.

Q: What positive aspects of APU does the comedian highlight?

The comedian appreciates APU's evolution, from a convenience store clerk to embodying the American dream with depth and growth.

Q: How can controversial characters like APU be handled?

While acknowledging the character's shortcomings, there is value in evolving rather than erasing to address concerns and promote inclusivity.


In this video, the speaker discusses the controversy surrounding the character Apu from The Simpsons. He addresses the criticism of the character's representation and defends its complexity and evolution over time. The speaker also mentions the importance of differentiating between hurt feelings and actual oppression, arguing that canceling Apu was an overcorrection.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why do people understand Joe Rogan and identify with him?

Over time, through watching his podcast for hundreds of hours, people have gotten to know Joe Rogan and understand his intentions. They recognize that he is not a malicious person, but someone who tries to be funny and is not perfect.

Q: Did Joe Rogan receive any backlash for a bit he did about Apu?

Yes, Joe Rogan received some comments criticizing his bit about Apu. However, he differentiates between hurt feelings and being oppressed, arguing that criticism or hurt feelings are valid, but it doesn't mean someone is oppressed.

Q: Why is the character Apu considered offensive?

One reason is that Apu is voiced by a white actor, which some find problematic. Additionally, there are stereotypes associated with the character, which can be seen as offensive. However, Joe Rogan finds the character to be funny and believes it represents many immigrant parents in a respectful way.

Q: Why did Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, choose a white actor to voice Apu?

At the time The Simpsons was created in the late 80s, there were limited options for Indian actors, especially voice over actors. Therefore, they cast a white actor, Hank Azaria, to do the voice. The character of Apu ended up becoming one of the most three-dimensional and dynamic supporting characters on the show.

Q: Has Apu been completely removed from The Simpsons?

Yes, Apu has been removed from the show, and Joe Rogan disagrees with this decision. He believes that Apu represents the American dream and many immigrant parents, and removing him completely is a disservice.

Q: What makes Apu different from other characters on The Simpsons?

While other characters on the show remain relatively static, Apu evolves throughout the series. He gets married, has children, and goes through various changes in his personal and professional life. This makes him a more complex and relatable character.

Q: What are some criticisms of Apu?

Some people find certain jokes made about Apu to be hacky or outdated. They argue that these jokes could be updated and evolved without completely removing the character from the show.

Q: Why does Joe Rogan think it was an overcorrection to remove Apu?

Joe Rogan believes that canceling Apu was an overcorrection because it didn't take into account the complexity and positive representation the character brought to the show. He argues that the character was a symbol of the American dream and the hard work and success of many immigrant parents.

Q: What is Joe Rogan's opinion on the controversy surrounding Apu?

Joe Rogan believes that while criticism and dialogue on representation are important, completely canceling Apu was excessive and didn't acknowledge the positive aspects of the character and its impact on immigrants and their children.

Q: What does Joe Rogan think should have been done instead of removing Apu?

Joe Rogan suggests that instead of removing Apu, the character could have been updated and evolved to address any problematic aspects. He believes that it's possible to keep the character while also addressing concerns regarding stereotypes or offensive jokes.


The speaker defends the character Apu from The Simpsons and argues that the decision to completely remove him was an overcorrection. While acknowledging the criticisms, the speaker believes in the complexity and positive representation that Apu brought to the show, representing the American dream and hardworking immigrant parents. The speaker suggests that updating and evolving the character would have been a more appropriate response, rather than removing him entirely.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Comedian reflects on cancel culture and the impact of missteps as a public figure.

  • Insight into the offensive nature of APU character and the debate surrounding it.

  • Defending APU as a multi-dimensional character representing the American dream.

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