The Simpsons reveal why they retired another iconic scene after a string of scandals: ‘Times have changed’
The Simpson have quietly retired a recurring scene in their hit cartoon.
Although some things never seem to change in the legendary Fox series some adjustments have been made in the show’s three-decade history.
Aiming to keep up with modern times, new episodes no longer feature the very common scene where Homer strangles his son Bart.
It is one of the most recurring gags of the sitcom and happens whenever Homer’s kid does something wrong.
As he yells to Bart ‘why you little’ he wraps his hands around Bart’s neck squeezing to the point his son’s eyes can be seen bulging out.
Gag: The Simpsons have revealed they retired scenes of Homer strangling Bart because ‘times have changed’
Speaking out: The reason behind removing the scenes were addressed in the latest episode from the 35th season of the sitcom.
But this hasn’t in fact happened for quite a while now – and this was addressed in the latest episode from the 35th season of the sitcom.
During episode three, titled McMansion & Wife, a new family joins the Evergreen Terrace.
In the clip, Homer is seen introducing himself to Thayer, who remarks how firm the patriarch’s handshake is.
‘That’s quite a grip,’ exclaims Thayer.
‘See Marge? Strangling the boy has paid off,’ Homer joked but immediately adds: ‘Just kidding. I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.’
The gag was addressed during an episode titled Love Is a Many Strangled Thing from season 22, where therapist Dr Zander tries to get Homer to see the error of his ways when he strangles his child.
In the episode the towering basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a friend of the Dr Zander, confronts Homer and teaches him what it feels like ‘to be young, small, and terrified’ by strangling him mercilessly several times.
Although the method traumatised Homer, it didn’t stop the strangling gag with Bart from happening in further episodes.
Fans of the iconic sitcom were quick to share comments on X, with many praising the choice.
One person wrote: ‘I knew my man Homer was gonna learn. He’s a smart fella,’ as another user replied: ‘Took him 36 years but he finally learned.’
A third one echoed: ‘To be fair this was under Disney since they wanted a family friendly branding for The Simpsons.’
‘Good to know that Homer realized how wrong was that. I only wonder what made him realize that,’ someone else added.
‘Now, that is progress,’ wrote another.
Changes: As he introduces himself to new character Thayer, Homer joked: ‘See Marge? Strangling the boy has paid off,’ but immediately added: ‘Just kidding. I don’t do that anymore’
Praises: Fans of the iconic sitcom were quick to share comments on X, with many praising the ultimate choice
Is not the first time The Simpsons have been under the spotlight due to controversies – one of the most known involved Apu Nahasapeemapetilon’s character.
Apu is the manager of Kwik-E-Mart convenience store on the animated series – and although he is Indian, he is voiced by a white actor, Hank Azaria, which eventually led to receive some backlash.
The Simpson’s creator Matt Groening responded to criticism back in 2018, claiming people ‘love to pretend they’re offended.’
Asked if Groening had any thought about the criticism of the character as an Indian stereotype, Groening told USA Today: ‘I’m proud of what we do on the show.
‘And I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended.’
The show addressed the Apu controversy in an episode that aired on April 2018 – a response which also sparked a backlash.
In the episode, Marge tried to remove any references that could offend anyone from a children’s book she had bought.
She reads the book to her daughter Lisa, who finds it boring.
‘Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect,’ says Lisa, turning towards a picture of Apu that had the words ‘don’t have a cow’ inscribed on it. ‘What can you do?’
‘Some things will be dealt with at a later date,’ says Marge.
‘If at all,’ says Lisa.
Asked what that exchange meant, Groening said: ‘We’ll let the show speak for itself.’
He also noted that when the show began, it was ‘part of the downfall of civilization.’
‘I felt that the controversy at the beginning of the show was, again, people pretending to be offended by Bart’s very mild sassiness. I knew it would blew over.’
Iconic: The Simpsons, created by Matt Groening, launched in 1990
Azaria said in an interview on The Late Show that he was ‘perfectly willing and happy to step aside, or help transition’ the character to something new.
‘The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad,’ he told Stephen Colbert.
‘It was certainly not my intention. I wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character and the idea that it’s brought pain and suffering in an way, that it was used to marginalize people, it’ upsetting.’
Azaria also said he had nothing to do with the show’s response to the criticism and that he didn’t agree with it.
He added that the most important thing was to listen to South Asian and Indian people and called for more inclusion in The Simpsons writing room.
‘I really want to see Indian, South Asian 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 voice,’ Azaria added.
‘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 and it not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do to me.’
The controversy surrounding Apu erupted following the release of a documentary in November 2017 called The Problem with Apu.
In the documentary, Hari Kondabolu, an actor and comedian of Indian origin, denounced the character’s marked accent and other stereotypes of south Asians.
Both Azaria – who voices numerous characters on the show including Chief Wiggum, Moe and Comic Book Guy – and Groening refused to appear in the documentary to answer questions.
Controversy: Another scandal is that Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the manager of Kwik-E-Mart convenience store, is voiced by a white actor, Hank Azaria
Candid: Azaria said in an interview on The Late Show that he was ‘perfectly willing and happy to step aside, or help transition’ the character to something new
Azaria, however, later told a TMZ reporter that Kondabolu ‘made some really interesting points’ and ‘gave us a lot at The Simpsons to think about.’
Another controversial tidbit happened earlier in 2021 – when The Smiths rocker Morrissey has hit out at the sitcom after he was parodied during an episode.
During the episode called Panic On The Streets Of Springfield from season 32, Lisa Simpson was seen making an imaginary friend in the form of depressed singer and vegetarian Quilloughby of indie band The Snuffs, seemingly styled on Morrissey, 61.
Quilloughby was seen voicing his disdain for everything, before morphing from a young musician, close in style to Morrissey’s ’80s look, to a grey man with a bulging belly – dubbed the ‘real-life’ counterpart of Quilloughby.
And soon after the Fox show aired, a statement was posted to Morrissey’s Facebook account, in which he voiced his disapproval of the character, which was voiced by Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
The statement read: ‘Surprising what a “turn for the worst” the writing for The Simpson’s tv show has taken in recent years.
‘Sadly, The Simpson’s show started out creating great insight into the modern cultural experience, but has since degenerated to trying to capitalize on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors.
‘Poking fun at subjects is one thing. Other shows like SNL still do a great job at finding ways to inspire great satire.
‘But when a show stoops so low to use harshly hateful tactics like showing the Morrissey character with his belly hanging out of his shirt (when he has never looked like that at any point in his career) makes you wonder who the real hurtful, racist group is here.
‘Even worse – calling the Morrissey character out for being a racist, without pointing out any specific instances, offers nothing. It only serves to insult the artist.’
He then went on to shine a light on the show’s own round of controversies, particularly in light of Hank Azaria’s apology for voicing Indian character Apu.
Slammed: The Smiths rocker Morrissey hit out at The Simpsons in a scathing attack, after he was parodied in an episode in 2021 (Morrissey pictured in 2015)
Parody: The Simpson’ executive producer shared snaps of the character, called Quilloughby, who he would only say was parodying ‘someone’
Friend: During Panic On The Streets Of Springfield, Lisa was seen making an imaginary friend in the form of depressed singer and vegetarian Quilloughby
Fury: Soon after the show aired, a statement was posted to Morrissey’s Facebook account, in which he voiced his disapproval of the character, which was voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch
The statement continued: ‘They should take that mirror and hold it up to themselves. Simpson’s actor Hank Azaria’s recent apology to the whole country of India for his role in upholding “structural racism” says it all.
‘Unlike the character in the Simpson’s “Panic” episode…….
‘Morrissey has never made a “cash grab”, hasn’t sued any people for their attacks, has never stopped performing great shows, and is still a serious vegan and strong supporter for animal rights.
‘By suggesting all of the above in this episode…the Simpson’s hypocritical approach to their storyline says it all.
‘Truly they are the only ones who have stopped creating, and have instead turned unapologetically hurtful and racist.
‘Not surprising…… that The Simpsons viewership ratings have gone down so badly over recent years. (sic)’
Source: Read Full Article