The Simpsons creator Matt Groening teased that the crew is “working on something kind of ambitious" with regard to Apu, one year after Hank Azaria announced he would step away from voicing the character. Groening added that the writing team has "to see if we can make the stories work.”

“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,” Groening told USA Today, ahead of the iconic animated comedy's 700th episode. The Simpsons premiered back in 1989.

Simpsons, Apu
Mike Coppola / Getty Images

“Who can be against diversity? So it’s great,” Groening continued. “However, I will just say that the actors were not hired to play specific characters. They were hired to do whatever characters we thought of. To me, the amazing thing is seeing all our brilliant actors who can do multiple voices, do multiple voices. That’s part of the fun of animation, However, to be more inclusive and hire more people, I’m completely in favor of that.”

The Simpsons' Harry Shearer recently stepped down from voicing Dr. Hibbert, a black character on the show.

The 700th episode of The Simpsons will air at 8:00 PM on March 21st.

[Via]