Should We Be Ashamed of Ourselves for Liking Apu?

Like most people who have sat down to watch an episode of The Simpsons, I have enjoyed the character of Apu, the friendly owner of the Kwik-E-Mart who has been around on the series almost since its beginning. He’s lovable. He’s funny. But he’s also a stereotype.

Apu has been the subject of a lot of discussion lately. He’s the center of a new documentary, The Problem With Apu, that recently aired on TruTV, and as you can probably guess from the title, it’s not favorable towards him. This has lead to rumors that the character might be leaving The Simpsons entirely, with some claiming that he’s done more harm to Indian Americans than good.

There are a lot questions that can be raised from this, with the biggest one being: is removing Apu from the series a good idea? Or could that create its own set of problems, with those who like to blame political correctness of ruining our culture saying it’s inappropriate?

On the one hand, Apu certainly isn’t a “hateful” stereotype, and those who have defended him lately have been quick to say that The Simpsons thrives on stereotypes of all kinds, so why should Apu be any different? On the other hand, Apu is also the sort of character who probably wouldn’t be introduced on The Simpsons today, especially since the show is still largely considered family entertainment rather than an “adult cartoon” like Family Guy or Bob’s Burgers.

So….what do you Avocados think? Should Apu stick around, or should he leave Springfield for good?