Earlier this year The Simpsons was dogged by accusations of perpetuating stereotypes of Indian-Americans in the character of Apu.
The convenience store worker had been in the show since 1990 but a failure to progress his characteristics had seen viewers in 2018 brand Apu as racist and problematic.
The show and its creators had clumsily tried to address the accusations but now they have seemingly decided that they would rather not engage with any further discussions around Apu by announcing that he will be axed from the show.
Speaking to Indie Wire, producer Adi Shankar, who was working on a script to solve the problem of Apu in a forthcoming episode, revealed that sources had told him that Apu is going to be quietly written out of the animation.
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.
He added that he believes that this decision is a mistake and completely goes against the nature of the series.
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.
Reaction to the news began to filter on to Twitter and the majority of people were not impressed.
Hari Kondabolu, who worked on the 2017 documentary The Problem with Apu, was not impressed.
Others also voiced their dissatisfaction.
Others have taken the stance that most of the characters on the show are stereotypes, with some labelling political correctness as the real problem.