‘They’ll drop him altogether just to avoid the controversy,’ said producer Adi Shankar in a new interview.
“The Simpsons” has found a way to solve the problem surrounding one of its character Apu. Months after the FOX show receives backlash for its portrayal of the Indian-American character, its producers have decided that they will axe the character for good.
Producer Adi Shankar breaks the news to IndieWire, revealing, “I got some disheartening news back, that I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu altogether.” He adds, “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.”
“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,” he critiques the decision. “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.”
The site tries to reach out to FOX for a comment. A representative of the popular show says, “Apu appeared in the 10/14/18 episode ‘My Way or the Highway to Heaven’. ”
“The Simpsons” found itself in the center of controversy as people seemed to take issues how the show portrays the convenience store Kwik-owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who first appeared on the show in 1990. It all started in November 2017 after comedian Hari Kondabolu released a documentary titled “The Problem With Apu”.
Kondabulu says that the character is based on hurtful stereotypes. “Everything with Apu is like this running joke,” he told the New York Times. “And the running joke is that he’s Indian.”
The show addressed the controversy in a episode that aired earlier this year. Featuring Lisa and Marge Simpson reading an updated version of “The Princess in the Garden”, the episode saw Lisa saying, “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”
Lisa then looked at a picture of Apu which had his catchphrase, “Don’t have a cow!” written on it. Instead of clearing the problems, the episode further took the show deeper in the controversy.