Apu has worked at the Kwik-E-Mart in Springfield for 28 years. That may soon be coming to an end.
“The Simpsons” is said to be preparing to drop the long-running character in response to complaints of racial stereotypes.
Multiple news organizations are reporting that the character is set to be dropped, citing producer Adi Shankar, who recently told IndieWire that the news was “verified from multiple sources.”
Shankar does not produce The Simpsons, but recently launched a script contest to help the show solve its “Apu Problem,” after the character was called a racist caricature.
“They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” said Shankar in an interview with 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.”
Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean responded to Shankar's comments on Twitter, noting that Shankar is not a Simpsons producer and "does not speak for our show."
Comedian Hari Kondabolu's examined the character in a documentary "The Problem with Apu,” released last year. The character was viewed as a negative stereotype.
In the show, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is an Indian-American with a thick accent who runs the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store in the fictional town of Springfield.
Hank Azaria voices the character and said earlier this year that he would be willing to "step aside" from playing Apu.