Back in April reputable producer Adi Shankar created a script contest for The Simpsons to rectify what has become known as Apu’s Problem. Everyone’s favourite convenience store owner – voiced by Hank Azaria – has become a controversial character over time as he’s widely recognised to be an inaccurate and racist portrayal of Indians and their culture.
Shankar aimed to source a script from the public that “in a clever way subverts him, pivots him, writes him out, or evolves him in a way that takes a creation that was the byproduct of a predominately Harvard-educated white male writers’ room and transforms it into a fresh, funny and realistic portrayal of Indians in America.”
Shankar along with many Simpsons fans hoped that Fox would create an episode based off of the script, although Shankar has recently revealed that as heard from sources who work for the show, The Simpsons is getting rid of Apu completely.
“I got some disheartening news back, that I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” Shankar informed IndieWire. “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.”
Events like the recent South Park episode called out the bigotry and hate surrounding the portrayal of Apu, followed by the hashtag #CancelTheSimpsons, as well Hari Kondabolu‘s documentary The Problem With Apu paved the way for the elimination of the South Asian cartoon character.
A representative for the show stated that Apu had featured in the 14/10/18 episode titled My Way or the Highway to Heaven, where he is depicted as an angel alongside other characters. Is this the last we’ll see of the Kwik-E-Mart icon? We can only pray for at least one more Apu feature.
Want to get as close to one of the most iconic Simpsons characters ever? Check out the first real-life Kwik-E-Mart and raise a Squishee in Apu’s honour.
Cover image via Fox.