For 29 seasons and a whopping 28 years we have been watching the Simpsons on TV, over which time we have come to know Springfield very well.
So when the writers bring about a storyline that kills off one of the beloved characters on the show, it really hits us hard. After such a long period, we can’t lie, we’re kinda invested in the show.
So far The Simpsons creators have only decided to give minor characters the shaft like Maude Flanders or more recently Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, the father of Krusty the Clown.
But once you hear who they are thinking of killing off now, you will be so shocked that you won’t be able to imagine the show without them. And it’s all thanks to a recent documentary that made controversial comments about the character in question.
The documentary created by comedian and child of Indian immigrants Hari Kondabolu aired last month and was ‘The Problem With Apu’…So incase that doesn’t give it away yet the guy that might be getting killed off is Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.
The Indian immigrant and owner of Springfield’s infamous Kwik-E-Mart first appeared on the Simpsons in the eighth episode of the show’s first season and so his character is one of the more iconic ones. In fact, when most people attempt to impersonate an Indian accent, it’s usually based on Apu’s voice.
But apparently, this is part of the problem, and some people aren’t a fan of Apu and the somewhat racist portrayal of his character.
“I spent a lot of time revisiting Apu episodes,” said the documentary director Michael Melamedoff.
“Of course, the character has moments of real wit and insight, because the writing team at The Simpsons was great. But a lot of those moments are also blanketed by very cheap jokes that come at the expense of South Asian culture and South Asian experiences.”
The star of the documentary, Hari Kondabolu has also said that for the past 30 years he has been “taunted” by the way that the show portrays Apu.
“Everything with Apu is like this running joke,” he said to the NY Times. “And the running joke is that he’s Indian.”
Hank Azaria, the voice of Apu, is the one who hinted that the creators might be considering killing off his character with the suggestion that changes are coming.
Speaking to TMZ, Azaria said that the documentary had made some “interesting” comments about racial stereotyping and that there is now a “lot to digest”.
“[To hear that] anybody that was hurt or offended by any character or vocal performance is really upsetting, that it was offensive or hurtful to anybody,” he said.
So while for 28 years Apu has been saying ‘Thank you, come again’ to all of his customers, The Simpsons’ might actually be saying ‘Thank you, but goodbye’ to one of their most iconic characters.
Emphasis on the word might though…I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.