Filmmaker Adi Shankar is crowdsourcing a “cure” to The Simpsons’ Apu problem, asking fans to write their very own episode.
Last year, comedian Hari Kondabolu’s The Problem With Apu documentary looked at the problematic nature of the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, arguing that the character perpetuates a racial stereotype.
Indian-American filmmaker Shankar has now launched a contest for a “screenplay centering on the character Apu set in the world and canon of The Simpsons that takes the character of Apu and in a clever way subverts him, pivots him, intelligently writes him out, or evolves him in a way that takes a mean spirited mockery and transforms him into a kernel of truth wrapped in funny insight aka actual satire”.
Shankar has promised to “take the winning script to The Simpsons writers’ room and Fox Broadcasting Company, to make it an official episode of The Simpsons‘ upcoming season, and recommend that they hire the winning writer into their room for the next season”.
“If The Simpsons writers’ room rejects the episode,” he adds, then Shankar himself will “finance the winning script and produce it as an unofficial fan film that looks identical to an official Simpsons episode”.