The Simpsons to Axe Apu?

According to reports, the character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is to be axed from The Simpsons. First appearing in 1990, Apu has been a mainstay during the worldwide success of the show.

Voiced by Hank Azaria – a white actor of Eastern Sephardic Jewish descent – The Simpsons’ Apu has been widely accused of reinforcing racial stereotypes surrounding Indian and South Asian populations in the US and beyond.

Last year, the controversy surrounding Apu came to a head when his characterisation was the subject of the documentary ‘The Problem with Apu’, hosted by comedian Hari Kondabolu.

US film producer Adi Shankar – though not a part of The Simpsons team himself – has claimed:

“I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” he said. “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.”

Shankar – himself of Indian descent – stated that he felt that he had crafted the perfect script for The Simpsons to tackle ‘the Apu problem’, but that it would probably never be used.

In an interesting turn of events, Simpsons scriptwriter Al Jean has publicly challenged Shankar’s claims, underlining his lack of involvement with the show:

Despite his public response, it seems revealing that Jean hasn’t specifically denied the axing of Apu amid the building pressure.

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