Film producer Adi Shankar has told IndieWire that he has heard from inside sources that The Simpsons is due to drop its Indian convenience store owner character, Apu, from the show. Back in 2017, comedian Hari Kondabolu released a documentary called The Problem With Apu, which argued that the show reinforced negative stereotypes of Asian-Americans in a way that was hurtful and damaging.
Since then, Shankar had launched a scriptwriter competition to crowdsource a new plotline that would remove or reinvent Apu from the show. Shankar has since heard from industry sources that Apu is due to be quietly removed altogether.
“I got some disheartening news back, that I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” 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.”
Shankar, who has produced unauthorized films that satirize Power Rangers, The Punisher and Venom, now hopes to run the winning script submission anyway.