The sell-by date for The Simpsons more or less expired in the late 90s. I maintain that seasons three to seven-and-a-half of The Simpsons is the most perfect comedy series available to watch, but as the dip occurred in season eight, things never really picked up again.

Since then, The Simpsons has really had that ‘too big to fail’ vibe about it, changing from a clever, irreverent comedy to just… a thing… that’s on?

Over the last year though, one aspect of The Simpsons picked up a lot more negative publicity than anything else, and that’s the apparently problematic character, Apu.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu made a documentary called The Problem with Apu which explored that negative connotations involved with a stereotypical Southern-Asian character written and performed largely by white men.

The issue gained a lot of traction and coverage, and ultimately the people at The Simpsons decided to pull the plug on the long-running character, with producer Adi Shankar saying that the show will “drop him altogether just to avoid the controversy“.

It’s a shame and when I heard the news, I was genuinely a bit sad, but then I remembered I’ve not watched a new episode of The Simpsons in over ten years and I’m all for the series ending altogether… so I got over it fairly fast.

Naturally though, more people were more upset than me, and took their issue to the man behind the campaign, Hari Kondabolu, to see what his thoughts were.

He was disappointed, being a fan of the show, and initially tweeted:

He then agreed with the people who would have preferred for Apu to be written differently, rather than being taken out of the show altogether…

People are still furious at the comedian though, saying that he was only doing it for attention and publicity. Ultimately, almost everyone in The Simpsons is a stereotype – at least in the early seasons – from Homer being a generic suburban white American to Willie being a rowdy and blue-collar Scot, with everyone else in between (Cletus, the Sea Captain, Bumblebee Man, Rainier Wolfcastle, etc…).

Personally, I couldn’t comment on how offensive they are since I’m not the one who’s at the expense of the jokes. If people are offended by the representation of their race then it makes sense to take their qualms at face-value, but it’s also to see why other people are annoyed.

Speaking on the issue, Kondabolu said to Uproxx:

You can still love something and be critical of it. Doing this doesn’t make you unpatriotic or less of a fan. I’m always willing to have that conversation.”

Images via Fox, Getty