A recent report stated that Apu, the ultra-controversial Indian character would be leaving the series permanently without any explanation. However, the report has now been refuted by Simpsons Showrunner Al Jean.

The report came from Indian American Producer Adi Shankar, who spoke to Indiewire about the whole situation. “I got some disheartening news back, that I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” Shankar 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.”

Jean responded to the claims on Sunday, saying that Shankar doesn’t work for The Simpsons and he, therefore, cannot know the plans for the show.

“Adi Shankar is not a producer on The Simpsons,” Jean wrote in a tweet. “I wish him the very best but he does not speak for our show.”

Shankar replied to Jean after a few hours, saying that he wants to work towards “common ground” regarding the character and the way to utilise him.

“I wish you well too,” he replied. “Let’s work towards common ground. 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.”

The controversy surrounding the character roots from the Indian stereotypes which are used to bring the character into life on the show. He is voiced by Hank Azaria.

Shankar recently launched a competition to see if any writer could “solve the problem” with Apu on The Simpsons. He said that the goal was to develop a script that “in a clever way subverts [Apu], pivots him, writes him out, or evolves him in a way that takes a creation that was the by-product of a predominately Harvard-educated white male writers’ room and transforms it into a fresh, funny and realistic portrayal of Indians in America.”

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