'The Simpsons' Set To 'Drop Apu Altogether' Following Racism Controversy

The Simpsons has been on our screens for almost 30 years and in all those years hasn't faced quite the backlash as they have with mounting controversy over the character ApuApu.

Due to this a producer of the long-running show, Adi Shankar, shared the 'disheartening news' in order to avoid a dispute over Apu they would simply drop the character from the show.

Credit: Fox/The Simpsons
Credit: Fox/The Simpsons

He told IndieWire: "I got some disheartening news back, that 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."

In the 30 years of the show Apu has had some incredible storylines - he married Manjula in an arranged marriage, had octuplets, had an affair, made it big with Home in the 'B Sharps', lost his job and even lived with the Simpson family, to name just a few.

In the interview Adi claimed the news was directly from 'two people who work for "The Simpsons" and a third source who works directly with creator Matt Groening.'

When IndieWire approached The Simpsons executive producer, Al Jean, for a comment on the topic, he simply said: "Apu appeared in the 10/14/18 episode 'My Way or the Highway to Heaven.'" - a rather cryptic response that leaves us almost as much in the dark as before.

Credit: The Simpsons/Fox
Credit: The Simpsons/Fox

However, Apu is seen in the episode in single wide shot that also shows dozens of other characters wearing white, with halo, all standing around God.

The controversy really spiked following the 2017 documentary by Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu The Problem With Apu in which he said he initially saw Apu as a representation of his people on screen, but eventually only saw the character as a rude stereotype that acted as a contribution to racism against South Asian people. Hari described Apu as 'a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father'.

Back in April Hank Azaria, who voices Apu, said: "Of course I understand. It's come to my attention more and more over the past couple years. The idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad. It certainly was not my intention. I wanted to bring joy and laughter to people."

He added: "I'm perfectly willing to step aside. It just feels like the right thing to do to me."

This may certainly be the case in the upcoming episodes that may no longer feature the long-running character.

Featured Image Credit: Fox/The Simpson

Rachael Grealish

Rachael is a NCTJ qualified journalist from West Cumbria, with a passion for news, features and journalism. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.

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