Apu is Finally Being Axed From ‘The Simpsons’ After Racism Controversy
Film producer Adi Shankar has confirmed that The Simpsons will axe Apu Nahasapeemapetilon following recent controversy.
Calls for his removal emerged from Hari Kondabolu’s 2017 documentary, The Problem With Apu, which explained how the beloved character had popularized and exacerbated harmful stereotypes of Indians and South Asians, and encouraged racism in the US.
The show previously came under-fire for how it addressed the issue. In an episode from the 29th season, Lisa alluded to the controversy by saying, “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” before the camera pans to a photo of Apu.
Needless to say it didn't go down well, and calls for cancellation raged on Twitter. Now, according to Shankar, it looks like The Simpsons will bow to the backlash and drop the Kwik-E-Mart owner completely.
“I got some disheartening news back, that I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” quoted Shankar to 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.”
He went on to slam the show for the decision, saying: “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. After having read all these wonderful scripts, I feel like sidestepping this issue doesn’t solve it when the whole purpose of art, I would argue, is to bring us together.”
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.