Shankar, showrunner of Netflix’s Castlevania, announced a new screenwriting contest, called Crowdsourcing the Cure for the Simpsons. In a video announcing the contest, Shankar says that when he immigrated to the United States at 16, he didn’t want to speak with an accent because of the Simpsons character Apu. He goes on to say that the character isn’t “a stereotype, it’s a mockery,” and that this idea came to him after West asked Shankar what he would do about Apu’s stereotypical depiction, which has previously been explored in comedian Hari Kondabolu’s The Problem With Apu.
He said the winner will either be produced by Fox, or as a fan film, which Shankar already has some experience with, having produced Power Rangers and James Bond fan films as part of his Bootleg Universe series. Hank Azaria, who voices Apu, recently said he’s willing to “step aside” as the voice or help someone else transition in.
The guidelines for the contest state: “This contest is open to people of all ethnicities and cultures, however, if you don’t have any experience with Indian culture in America then you may not have the perspective and experience to write well on this topic.”