Simpsons to drop Apu after debate over racism
After 28 years working behind the counter of Springfield's Kwik-E-Mart, Indian shopkeeper Apu is going to be dropped from The Simpsons, sources close to the programme have claimed.
The cartoon character, voiced by white actor Hank Azaria, prompted debate after he was branded a racist caricature in a TV documentary, The Problem with Apu.
The documentary claimed the character is tainted by "a little bit of the poison of racism". Rather than calling for Apu to be killed off, however, the documentary urged the writers to "keep him" and "complicate" him, to make him less of a stereotype.
But insiders are now saying that Apu will instead be written out of the show.
Adi Shankar, the producer behind the Liam Neeson thriller The Grey, has claimed "multiple sources" have confirmed the shopkeeper's fate is sealed.
"They're going to drop the Apu character altogether," he said. "They aren't going to make a big deal out of it, or anything like that."
Apu has been a fixture on the show since 1990.
The Simpsons' production company, Gracie Films, did not respond to a request for comment.