THE SIMPSONS Producer Al Jean Responds To Reports That Apu is Being Removed From The Show
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the character Apu lately due to his offensiveness to the Indian culture. The character hasn’t been seen in the series for almost a year because of it, and with no one from the show really addressing the issue or of the future of the character, film and TV producer Adi Shankar (Dread), who isn’t a producer on The Simpsons, took it upon himself to say that the character has been dropped from the show “to avoid the controversy.” He told IndieWire:
“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.”
The Simpson’s producer Al Jean saw what Shankar said and responded to his comments on Twitter saying:
Adi Shankar is not a producer on the Simpsons. I wish him the very best but he does not speak for our show.— Al Jean (@AlJean) October 28, 2018
Shankar then responded to the tweet saying:
I wish you well too. Let’s work towards common ground. Ignoring only fans the flames. The world is polarized & 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.— Adi Shankar (@adishankarbrand) October 29, 2018
Shankar, who is developing Netflix’s Castlevania series has said that he’s found a perfect story that he feels will solve the problematic portrayal of Indian-American character Apu. He says that it will handle the character “in a way that takes a mean spirited mockery and transforms him into a kernel of truth wrapped in funny insight.”
While talking with EW Shankar explains:
“Apu’s offensive because he’s a byproduct of a white male’s writers’ room mocking what they think a billion people sound and act like. They call it satire, but it’s not. The jokes around Apu have no truth, they are mockery.”
I grew up watching The Simpsons. The show has been a part of my life since I was ten or eleven and I always loved Apu. I thought he was such a wonderful character. I hope saying that doesn’t make me a racist, it’s just one of those characters that I grew up enjoying. If they want to make changes to the character that properly represents the Indian culture, I’m all for it. I just hope that they don’t get rid of the character.
What are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding Apu? How would you like to see The Simpsons creative team handle the character?