Long-time Simpsons showrunner Al Jean has responded to rumours that the series is planning to drop Apu so they don’t have to engage with critics who have long been calling the character racist.

The story about Apu being ditched, rather than rewritten – or at the very least voiced by someone other than Hank Azaria, who himself thinks that’s the way to go – comes from YouTube star, and creator of Bootleg Universe, Adi Shankar.

After devising a competition to encourage people to write a script subverting the character, or develop him into a more “realistic portrayal of Indians in America“, that he would then pitch to Fox, he told IndieWire last week:

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.

Well Jean has tried to crush that theory, taking to Twitter to say: “Adi Shankar is not a producer on the Simpsons. I wish him the very best but he does not speak for our show.

Shankar himself has replied to Jean – he doesn’t back up what he said to IndieWire, but urges Jean to work with the community to do something positive with the character.

I wish you well too. Let’s work towards common ground. Ignoring only fans the flames. The world is polarised & getting more so, and the onus is on us to bring people together. Engage in a constructive way and this matter will go to bed. I see you, now I’m asking you to see me.

Bets are on then: who reckons they’ll kill off Apu anyway? Who is even watching this show anymore? Time will tell.

Source: ABC
Image: The Simpsons