Simpsons showrunner disputes Apu write-off reports

The Simpsons are playing clean-up after an Indiewire interview with producer Adi Shankar claimed that the beloved Kwik-E-Mart shopkeep will be written off the animated series. Showrunner Al Jean tweeted, “Adi Shankar is not a producer on the Simpsons. I wish him the very best but he does not speak for our show.”

Shankar responded, “Let’s work towards common ground.” The producer has been running a scriptwriting competition for diverse writers to shift the controversial character away from an outdated stereotype. “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.”

Apu, who is voiced by white actor Hank Azaria, has long been the subject of discussion amongst those who find him to be a harmful Indian stereotype. The topic was brought to the mainstream when truTV aired a documentary The Problem With Apu from stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu. Although many wish The Simpsons would cancel the character, others like Shankar wish for him to transform into a positive representation of Indian-Americans.

Jean seems highly invested in disputing the write-off reports. He spent some time on Twitter replying to outlets that inaccurately referenced Shankar as a producer on The Simpsons and that the reports are ‘untrue.’

Billy Procida

Laughspin editor-in-chief Billy Procida is a stand-up comedian in New York City. He hosts The Manwhore Podcast where he talks to women he's hooked up with about sex, dating, and why they didn't work out. Reach him on Twitter.

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