Priyanka Chopra says she was bullied in school because of The Simpsons' character Apu

Published 06 May, 2018 03:03pm

Images Staff

"I was always asked, did we go to school on elephants?" says PeeCee

Although the creators of the show addressed the controversy in one of their recent episodes, PeeCee believes it is their responsibility to "evolve" with times.
Although the creators of the show addressed the controversy in one of their recent episodes, PeeCee believes it is their responsibility to "evolve" with times.

In a first, Priyanka Chopra reveals that she was bullied in school due to The Simpsons' stereotyped Indian character Apu.

The Bollywood celeb said that Apu "was the bane of my existence growing up," during her high school days in the US.

"I was always asked when I was in high school — like at 14, 15 — why I didn’t speak like that or… did I find gold in my rivers? Did we go to school on elephants? I always had questions like that," said Priyanka on the show The View.

Late last year, The Simpsons' Indian character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon triggered a conversation on the representation of Indians on the show after comedian Hari Kondabolu released a documentary, The Problem with Apu which interviews celebrities of South Asian descent on Apu from the animated sitcom.

Although the creators of the show addressed the controversy in one of their recent episodes, PeeCee believes it is their responsibility to "evolve" with times.

"Yes, it’s a cartoon, yes it’s a pop culture, super successful show, but that gives it more responsibility," she said. "It is out of date and [has] not evolved on so many levels.”

Hank Azaria, the voice of Apu, had earlier said that he's "willing to step aside" if need be as "the most important thing is to listen to Indian people and their experience with it."

Like Azaria, Priyanka is of the view that there needs to be accurate representation of people of colour. "The population of Indian-Americans in America has tripled... so the voice is louder, the representation and the demand for representation for people of color is louder," added the Quantico star.