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Simpsons jokes too 'offensive' for this generation

Ana Cecilia Regalado
Ana Cecilia Regalado

Journalist, spends most of her personal time being a millennial

Jakarta | Mon, October 22, 2018 | 01:33 pm
Simpsons jokes too 'offensive' for this generation

In April, ABCNews reported that “The Simpsons” was under fire for its response to criticism over its depiction of its characters. (facebook.com/TheSimpsons/File)

Anyone who has grown up with the Simpsons knows that the show’s golden years are widely disputed to be somewhere between the 13th and the 23rd season. Although this debate may last forever without being resolved, it is clear that the Simpsons was one of the first adult-targeted cartoons based on satire. 

In April, ABCNews reported that The Simpsons was under fire for its response to criticism over its depiction of its characters. One character in question is one of the show’s oldest cast members, an Indian man named Apu. You can watch the trailer for the TruTV documentary here:

These days, being offensive can be likened to committing murder, especially with the new generation of those with left-leaning ideology, sometimes with extreme liberalist views. Ironically, the extreme left in America -- where the show originated -- seems to have gone so far left that they have accidentally turned right. Here’s a handful of jokes and satirical interpretations that most probably wouldn’t fly with current youth. Spoiler warning!

1. “Hello Moe, you sister’s being raped.” 

This episode aired in September of 2014 during a crossover special with Family Guy. It is easy to see why people would misinterpret this jab, even before the era of the #MeToo movement.

Playing out the different joke wavelength, Stewie’s darkness quickly put a cloud over Bart’s lighthearted humor. If you reacted to the joke the way Bart did (standing there, deadpan), then congratulations, your morals are in check. Would this somewhat tongue-in-cheek joke work in 2018? It's unlikely.

2. “Moneybart” Couch Gag of South Korean Sweatshop

This episode was aired in October 2010 and featured a couch gag sequence that depicted the animation studio as a sweatshop that also endorsed animal cruelty and child slavery. While the studio that animated the Simpsons -- which is based in South Korea -- found this offensive, this is actually an important joke to make.

If there is anything The Simpsons creators know how to do and do it well, it’s social criticism of their own characters. Fans of the show who own The Simpsons merchandises definitely stop, think and remember that there are places in the world that still commit such atrocities even today. Would this joke work in 2018? Maybe.

3. “What’ve you done, my maguppies became gazongas!”

This episode aired on Nov. 24, 2002 and featured a mix-up between Marge Simpson and another patient. The mix up results in Marge’s breasts becoming -- you guessed it -- large. The sexualization that followed even had WatchMojo talking about how uncomfortable it made them. At the end of the episode, Marge uses her ample bosom to save her son, her husband and his friend from an enraged elephant -- and from getting shot.

Today this joke would amplify the following issues, at least on social media: medical malpractice, the vanity in plastic surgery and women objectification. It is up to the viewer to decide which they are offended by.

4. Homer’s Night Out

This episode aired at the show’s beginning on March 25, 1990, and has Homer being ridiculed for being made fun of for dancing next to a sexy and talented belly dancer. Marge then throws Homer out of the house as a result. Those a part of the MGTOW movement today would take this as justification for labeling women as crazy housewives. While housewives in return, would most likely feel Marge was justified in her action. There is no winning in this argument.

5. Eight Misbehavin’

A decade prior to Natalie Suleman’s "octomom" sensation in 2009, an episode of the Simpsons aired on Nov. 21, 1999 tells the story of grocery store-owner Apu and his new wife Manjula, who gives birth to octuplets.

Today, Apu’s shocked reaction may be seen as offensive by those struggling with the real-life problem of caring for many children at once. As offensive as it is, the reality that the joke derives itself from is a common occurrence in poorer parts of the world.

Maybe there is something out there that will make even the overly sensitive laugh. Although it seems the majority are of the sentiment that the “Current-day Simpsons is a limping, damaged, animal. The Simpsons of yore however, featured hilarious jokes, brilliant writing and visual gags and will continue to stand the test of time ...” said YouTube review channel WhatCulture. (asw)

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.

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