Whether you love or hate The Simpsons there’s one thing you can’t deny: They know how to stick to their guns.
The 2017 documentary film The Problem with Apu sparked debate over the show’s continued use of the character Apu, a character critics consider too offensive by modern standards. In the aftermath, every attempt at damage control on part of the show’s producers has been largely hailed as a train wreck, most notably a poorly executed attempt to address the problem in a recent episode which resulted in a huge internet backlash.
Since the failed gesture aired, rumors have circulated that The Simpson’s would be dealing with it’s Apu problem in a more proactive way. Initially there was talk of writing the character off of the show, or possibly handing over the character to an Indian actor to play, but it turns out these were merely rumors. Instead, The Simpson’s will be quadrupeling down on it’s Apu problem by adding 4 more Apu’s to the cast next season.
That’s right. Beginning next season Springfield will be home to not 1 but 5 Apu’s, all of whom will own Kwik E Marts and all of whom will be voiced by Hank Azaria. And that’s not all we’ll be seeing more of. According to showrunner Al Jean almost every episode of the upcoming season will feature a fourth wall break where a character addresses the camera and half heartedly apologizes to the audience.
Jean broke down the show’s new format during a press conference earlier this week.
“Basically there will be three new Kwik E Marts right next to the original, each with its own Apu. Characters will buy an item at the first store, walk to the next, point at the other Apu and look at the camera saying things like, ‘Look, it was a long time ago, there’s nothing we can do about it.’ Additionally there will be an Apu/Kwik E Mart at the nuclear power plant and directly next door to the Simpsons.”
Jean also assured fans that the character will not only be multiplied but upgraded as well.
“Apu will now be granted low level mystical powers, able to perform basic vanishing tricks and summon snakes by folding his arms and reciting the magic words ‘Bim bim Balymim!’ Each use of this power will be followed by a character addressing the camera to apologize for it while reminding viewers that it’s completely out of our hands.”