Major Simpsons character is being written out of the show
He’s been one of the most loved characters on The Simpsons since it began in in 1989.
But now it has been claimed that Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is being axed from the popular cartoon series after his inclusion in the show was deemed racial stereotyping.
Apu, owner of the Kwik-E-Mart, was the subject of Hari Kondabolu’s 2017 documentary The Problem With Apu, which saw the comedian interview actors and comics of South Asian descent about whether they found the Indian character offensive.
Show creator Matt Groening later defended Apu, saying: “Who’s a better Indian animated character in the last 30 years?”
But now producer Adi Shankar has revealed that, after trying to crowdsource a new script about Apu in a bid to clear the character’s name, he has been told by bosses that he won’t be making an on-screen return.
Adi told IndieWire : “I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether.
“They aren’t going to make a big deal out of it, or anything like that, but they’ll drop him altogether just to avoid the controversy.”
The producer went on to suggest that it would be a mistake to erase Apu from our screens.
He said: “If you are a show about cultural commentary and you are too afraid to comment on the culture, especially when it’s a component of the culture you had a hand in creating, then you are a show about cowardice.
“It’s not a step forward, or step backwards, it’s just a massive step sideways.
“I feel like sidestepping this issue doesn’t solve it when the whole purpose of art, I would argue, is to bring us together.”
The Simpsons previously addressed the controversy indirectly during April 2018 episode No Good Read Goes Unpunished.
Lisa says to camera: “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”
Fans of the show were left shocked after news of Apu’s axing broke.
“The Simpsons are writing off Apu? WTF,” wrote one fan, while another posted: “Do they not understand comedy? Whats the problem with Apu? I grew up watching the Simpsons everyday and I’m not a rascist.”
Another tweeted: “Apu is a shallow caricature – like every other character in the Simpsons. Really sad they’re writing him out, he’s no more a negative stereotype than Groundskeeper Willie or Chief Wiggum.”
Meanwhile, The Problem With Apu creator Hari waded in on the row on Twitter.
He tweeted: “There are so many ways to make Apu work without getting rid of him. If true, this sucks.”
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