Political Correctness Forces Key Character To Be Written Out of Longest-Running Sitcom


“Thank you, come again” is his catchphrase, but he might never be coming again to our television screens.

A beloved character from one of the longest-running television shows in history is going to be erased, all because politically correct busybodies have declared that he’s offensive.

The show is “The Simpsons,” the sometimes controversial but consistently popular cartoon sitcom that began in 1989.

And the offending character? Don’t worry, Homer and the family are safe, but the same can’t be said for Apu.

“The Simpsons have confirmed that controversial character Apu will be cut out of future episodes,” New Musical Express, a U.K. entertainment magazine, reported Friday.

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“The long-running show has come under fire for it’s (sic) depiction of Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, with viewers complaining that the character promotes racist stereotypes of people of Indian and Asian descent,” NME continued.

“Simpsons” producer Adi Shankar confirmed the news in an interview with IndieWire.

“I’ve verified from multiple sources now: 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, but they’ll drop him altogether just to avoid the controversy.”

Do you think Apu should remain in 'The Simpsons'?

It’s worth noting that “The Simpsons” is famous for light-heartedly mocking, well, everybody.

Ned Flanders is a stereotype of pious Christians. Groundskeeper Willie is a sendup of the Scottish. Even Homer Simpson can be seen as a stereotypical “average white guy” stuck in middle-class America.

Apparently an Indian character is too much for the politically correct crowd. Never mind that Apu has been part of the show since 1990 — some 28 years — and is a pretty positive role model.

In the canon of the show, Apu is a hard-working immigrant who became a legal U.S. citizen. In addition to being friendly with the townspeople while running a small business, the character has also been shown to be very intelligent and holds a Ph.D. in computer science.

Oh, and he’s a (mostly) loyal husband and family man, too. Not bad for a cartoon character.

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It’s worth pointing out that a very high number — an amazing 60 percent — of convenience stores in the U.S. are run by Indian-Americans in real life. Far from being an oppressed group, Indians are doing very well in America, most likely due to hard-working entrepreneurial attitudes that are part of the culture.

And the secret’s out: A lot of recent Indian immigrants do speak with an accent not so unlike Apu’s. But don’t you dare find it mildly humorous.

Interestingly, the show’s producer Shankar — who is himself Indian-American — is not thrilled about cutting Apu from the long-running series.

“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,” he noted.

“It’s not a step forward, or step backwards, it’s just a massive step sideways,” Shankar said. “After having read all these wonderful scripts (dealing with Apu), I feel like sidestepping this issue doesn’t solve it when the whole purpose of art, I would argue, is to bring us together.”

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.