Social media users are outraged after an Argentinian news channel reportedly displayed an image of The Simpsons character Apu as Prime Minister Narendra Modiarrived in Buenos Aires for the ongoing G20 Summit. Cronica TV used the headline “Apu arrives” with visuals of an Air India aircraft landing in Buenos Aires.
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, a popular character from the animation series ‘The Simpson’, has been at the centre of debates for being a racial stereotype. The character, associated with the show since 1990, was played by Hank Azaria, a white actor who put on a heavy Indian accent.
Several users reacted angrily to the comparison, accusing the channel of racism and stereotyping.
Indian-American comic Hari Kondabolu who had made a documentary about racial undertones in Apu’s character, also slammed the news channel for the comparison. “This couldn’t be true, right?” he tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Buenos Aires on Thursday. On the sidelines of the Summit, he has held trilateral talks with US President Donald Trump and Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe and separately with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese premier Xi Jinping. He also held talks with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This meeting comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is facing international opprobrium over the brutal murder of Saudi journalist and pro-democracy activist Jamal Khashoggi.
PM Modi will return to India on December 3.