Priyanka Chopra recently stepped into British Vogue‘s photo booth to delve into her extensive Instagram archive. One of the Instagram pictures she spoke about was The Simpsons‘ version of Priyanka’s wedding to Nick Jonas. She said, “To be on The Simpsons in my wedding dress was really fun and ironic considering Apu was the bane of my life when I was growing up. Everybody kept asking, why don’t I speak like Apu (Nahasapeemapetilon), why my accent wasn’t like Apu.” Priyanka spent her teens in USA – “everybody” is presumably her fellow students while she was at school in America. Apu, an Indian character on the beloved animated series, has been widely criticised in recent years as perpetuating racial stereotypes and only appears as a background character in The Simpsons now.
Priyanka Chopra, who had previously revealed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that she was bullied at her high school in America, added, “Apu had a really exaggerated Indian accent as we all know.” The actress was 13 when she flew to the US to live with her relatives. Priyanka spent her teenage years at American high schools, where she was targeted by fellow students for being a brown person. “I think high school is hard anywhere, right? And to be coming of age, to understand your body as a woman and at the same time, to be devalued for something I can’t change or you know, I wasn’t even aware of the fact that this was something I should feel embarrassed about. But I guess when I was made to feel like, did my clothes smelled funny when I walked by the hallway or did people smell curry or little things like that at 16 are so detrimental to a sense of self-worth, your sense of self. It’s just about being mean, trying to hurt someone,” She had said on the show Super Soul.
Now, let us focus on Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and the controversy around the owner of Kwik-E-Mart in the fictional town of Springfield. Those of you who have followed the show would know that Apu was considered problematic. His character was made up entirely of South Asian stereotypes. Not to forget, Apu was a PhD who worked at a store. He was also an illegal immigrant. The Problem With Apu, the 2017documentary by Hari Kondabolu, was considered as “racism against the community”. Speaking to BBC, Hari Kondabolu had said, “The Simpsons is an important work of art that has influenced so many, including myself. Apu was the only Indian we had on TV at all so I was happy for any representation as a kid. And of course, he’s funny, but that doesn’t mean this representation is accurate or right or righteous. It gets to the insidiousness of racism, though, because you don’t even notice it when it’s right in front of you. It becomes so normal that you don’t even think about it.”
Actor Hank Azaria, who voiced Apu as well as other character on The Simpsons, announced in 2020 that he was stepping down – he continues as the voice of other characters.
Now, look at pictures shared by Priyanka Chopra from The Simpsons episode, which aired in December 2018:
There is one more:
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas got married in December 2018 at Umaid Bhawan Palace palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.