This morning Tim & Jess discussed the rumours that fan favourite Apu will be cut from The Simpsons following complaints that the character promotes racist stereotypes.
The Simpsons producer Ari Shankar told IndieWire that the character would be quietly dropped from the show to avoid the controversy. He sees this decision as a mistake, stating:
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.
- Ari Shankar
The character is voiced by white American actor Hank Azaria, who has previously stated he is willing to step aside due to criticism of the character.
Twitter is naturally going wild over the news, and fans are NOT afraid to share their opinions online.
One said that the decision seemed like "a huge missed opportunity to make the character more representative of the South Asian community", while another felt the principle behind the phase-out was "limp and reactionary".
Author, columnist and media personality Michael Malice shared his opinion on Twitter as well, stating "Twenty-two years ago, Apu's character was the case study for a pro-immigration episode of The Simpsons. Now it is apparently better that he retreat to the shadows".
Listen to Tim & Jess discussing the issue in the catch up below to hear the controversial line in a recent Simpsons episode in which the criticism was acknowledged...
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