Apu is getting axed from The Simpsons
A long-running character on The Simpsons is rumoured to be getting dropped from the show.
The character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian-American owner of Springfield’s Kwik-E-Mart convenience store, has long been the target of complaints, with many believing the character perpetuates South Asian stereotypes.
The character is also voiced by Hank Azaria, a white American actor, who affects an exaggerated Indian accent for the role.
Producer and filmmaker Adi Shankar told Indiewire that “multiple sources” told him Apu would be dropped from the series:
“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."
Adi had launched a script contest in April aiming to solve the show's "Apu Problem" - hoping to transform the hurtful portrayal of the character into "a fresh, funny and realistic portrayal of Indians in America.”
A Simpsons episode in April acknowledged the controversy surrounding Apu in a segment slammed as disappointing by some fans:
Hank Azaria told The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in April he'd be happy to step away from the character:
“I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers room…including how [Apu] is voiced or not voiced.
"I’m perfectly willing to step aside. It just feels like the right thing to do to me.
“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.”