The lingering smell over the controversy surrounding Apu, its racial overtones and 'The Simpsons' as a cultural monolith hasn't gone away - and 'South Park' of all shows had probably the most incisive and devastating take on the whole thing last night.
The episode, titled 'The Problem With A Poo' (taking its name from the documentary 'The Problem With Apu'), sees Mr. Hankey forced to leave South Park as he's being portrayed as racist in an increasing manner. Mr. Hankey's Twitter account keeps spewing out awful messages about the people in South Park, which he then blames on Ambien - mirroring what happened to Roseanne Barr and that whole incident.
The episode ends with Mr. Hankey being driven out of town, with people wondering where he'll end up. It ends with Randy Marsh explaining that Mr. Hankey will " have to find a place that accepts racist, awful beings like him."
"There are still places out there that don’t care about bigotry and hate," Randy adds, which then cuts to Mr. Hankey arriving in Springfield and being greeted by Bart Simpson and Apu. The episode then cuts to black with a hashtag #CancelTheSimpsons, and rolls credits.
Here's the whole scene in question.
Al Jean, who's currently the showrunner on 'The Simpsons', spoke to THR just after the episode aired last night and said that "(it's) actually in favor of us saying people are too critical. Hari Kondabolu [one of the most outspoken critics of the Apu character] tweeted he thought they agreed with him but pulled the comments showing he was wrong. All season the show has had a #cancelsouthpark hashtag so my response (which I tweeted) is: #pleasedontcancelsouthpark."
Whether 'South Park' was taking a swipe at 'The Simpsons' can be argued, but one thing is absolutely clear - 'South Park' hasn't lost any of its edge.