The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has revealed the show is bringing back controversial character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and has "ambitious" plans for his return.
The character has been at the centre of controversy ever since the 2017 documentary The Problem with Apu addressed how the shopkeeper was racially stereotyped.
Original voice actor, Hank Azaria, confirmed he would step down from voicing the Kwik-E-Mart clerk last year, calling it "the right thing to do".
In a chat with USA Today, Groening said they know where they want to take the character, but "we have to see if we can make the stories work".
He added: "We're working on something kind of ambitious. That's all I can say."
When asked about the character's controversy, Groening revealed he was "proud" of Apu and his stories are "fantastic".
He explained: "I think the Apu stories are fantastic, and he's one of the most nuanced characters on a silly two-dimensional cartoon show. So, yeah, I'm proud of Apu.
"I'm trying not to open up another chasm of criticism, but it doesn't matter what I say. I'll get it anyway."
With the show hitting a huge milestone of 700 episodes, and the recent news of the show getting renewed for at least two more seasons, there is time for more Apu stories.
Showrunner Al Jean recently admitted the show will unlikely reach 1,000 episodes but didn't know how much more they can do beyond the end of the renewal.
"We're going to definitely do 757," Executive producer Al Jean told Variety. "I wouldn't say that's the end but I don't know how much further we can go."
The Simpsons is now available to watch on Disney+ in the US and the UK.
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