Street Artist Banksy Takes On The Simpsons
In a move to perhaps spark renewed interest in a show that started in 1989, the latest “couch gag” on The Simpsons has been created by none other than controversial UK street artist Banksy. The scene depicts the series being animated in an Asian sweatshop, with depressed child workers, skeletal remains of presumably old workers lying around and animals being used for labor. People are discussing how Fox (the show’s network) will react to it; eleven years ago though Rupert Murdoch appeared on the show professing to be a “billionaire tyrant,” so self-deprecating humor isn’t new.
In an interview with the New York Times, the show’s executive producer Al Jean had this to say:
Were you concerned that what Banksy sent you could get the show into hot water?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it for a little bit. Certainly, Fox has been very gracious about us biting the hand that feeds us, but I showed it to Matt Groening, and he said, no, we should go for it and try to do it pretty much as close as we can to his original intention. So we did. Like we always do, every show is submitted to broadcast standards, and they had a couple of [changes] which I agreed with, for taste. But 95 percent of it is just the way he wanted.
Can you say what got cut out?
I’ll just say, it was even a little sadder. But I would have to say almost all of it stayed in. We were thrilled. It was funny, I watched “Mad Men” last night and I wondered if this was my Don Draper letter to The New York Times. I knew just how he felt. But it was great to have a secret.
One of the things Banksy is known for is disguising his identity. How can you be sure that you were dealing with the real him?
The original boards that we got from him were in his style and were certainly by an extremely proficient artist. We were dealing with the person that represented him making the movie. I haven’t met him, I don’t even know what he looks like, except what the Internet suggests. And he’s taken credit for it now so I’m pretty sure it’s him. We went through the people that made the movie so I assume they would know how to get to the real him.
Watch the “couch gag” below: