The Simpsons eerily predicted that 21st Century Fox would be purchased by Disney, with their new owners seemingly interested in keeping the series alive and well for years to come. According to a report from Variety, the series is close to securing a deal for two more seasons, its 31st and 32nd.
When the current season concludes, The Simpsons will have logged an impressive 663 episodes since its debut in 1989.
News of Disney possibly purchasing 21st Century Fox emerged in 2017, with fans of the series immediately remembering that the 1998 episode "When You Dish Upon a Star," which included guest stars Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, and Ron Howard, featured a moment in which 20th Century Fox is forced to change their logo to include "A Walt Disney Company." It would appear that, once again, The Simpsons predicted a real-life incident.
Though the series' fate might be secured, fans are curious about how Disney will handle the animated series that never shies away from pushing buttons and boundaries, potentially in ways that might be considered too controversial for the typically wholesome conglomerate. Details about the acquisition are so uncertain at this point that fans don't even know what network the channel could land on, given Fox's ownership of various broadcasting platforms.
Arguably the most controversial element of the series in recent years stems from Apu and his stereotypical representation of Indian culture, serving as the town's convenience store clerk. The controversy surrounding the character gained steam when comedian and filmmaker Hari Kondabolu created the documentary The Problem with Apu, which highlights the Indian convenience clerk becoming the most well-known character from South Asia depicted in pop culture.
Apu is voiced by Hank Azaria, who is not of South Asian descent. If the situation called for it, he has claimed he would happily leave the role behind.
"I've given this a lot of thought, really a lot of thought," Azaria shared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "As I say, my eyes have been opened, and I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country, when they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character and what their American experience of it has been. And as you know, in television terms, listening to voices means inclusion in the writers' room. I really want to see Indian [or] South Asian writer/writers in the room. Not in a token way, but genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take, including how it is voiced or not voiced. I'm perfectly willing and happy to step aside or help transition it into something new. I really hope that's what The Simpsons does. It just, it not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do, to me."
Stay tuned for details on the future of The Simpsons.
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