Is "The Simpsons" giving up on Apu?
The Simpsons' Apu Nahasapeemapetilon was introduced in the eighth episode of the show, and has been a staple in Springfield ever since. Apu survived the 90's and early 00s, but he was met with criticism as the years continued further. Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu produced a documentary entitled The Problem with Apu that argued the racial impact of the character. Kondabolu felt that Apu fit a number of negative stereotypes that Americans of South Asian decent felt uncomfortable about. His documentary gained support, and the Apu controversy began.
The Simpsons addressed the drama in an episode called "No Good Read Goes Unpunished," but their effort to make light of the situation made matters worse. It appears that the show has decided to sidestep the issue altogether, as IndieWire reports that Apu will be written off the show. Producer Adi Shankar is not involved with Fox or The Simpsons, but he launched a script writing contest for fans to construct a less stereotypical plot for Apu. After finding a winning script, Shankar was met with the news that it was pointless because the character was being written off regardless. “I got some disheartening news back, that I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” said Shankar told 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.” The last time Apu appeared in the show was just two weeks ago, which a Fox representative for The Simpsons pointed out to IndieWire when asked about the situation. “Apu appeared in the 10/14/18 episode ‘My Way or the Highway to Heaven,'” responded the rep, neither confirming nor denying Apu's cancellation.